Cheer kicks off competitions

Girls varsity cheerleading at the semi-finals.

Thida Pathammavong

Girls varsity cheerleading at the semi-finals.

Some may only think of cheerleaders as the team who pumps up the crowd at football games or cheers on the football team on their way to winning, but the cheer team has competitions just like any other sports team at AHS. On Tuesday Oct. 14, the varsity cheer team headed to Lake Braddock high school to compete in the cheer semi-finals. Each school from the patriot district, including Woodson, West Springfield, West Potomac, T.C. Williams, South County, Lee and Lake Braddock, all attended to qualify for the final championship next Wednesday, Oct. 22. The team has been working on their routine to showcase at the competition for some weeks now. The routine incorporates styles of dance, gymnastics and cheers that the team worked on. Every year, each school from the patriot district brings a different routine to show the judges and points are given out by quantity, and how well their routine is executed. The team placed eighth, which is last place in the semi-finals but they are certainly looking forward to the next competition, which is next Wednesday. Since tryouts which were held in late August, the team definitely thinks they have come together and have improved on their skills.

“We did alright but we are definitely better than what we put out there tonight,” senior Gabby Payne said. “We just have one more week to show off what we’ve been working so hard on every day since August.”

Despite their placing in the semi-finals, the team is planning on working harder in the time given to work on their routine and skills to be prepared for the next upcoming event.

“As a team we put in the best effort we could,” junior Andrea Garcia said. “There are a lot of tough competitors but I feel like if we work hard we can be at the top like them.”

Unfortunately, not all of the team’s players were able to compete due to injury.

“I think we really gave it  our all with what little we had to work with, it sucks that most of our girls are injured and may not be able to compete next week,” senior Ravyn Hankinson said. “We’re going to take this as a learning experience, do work at practice, and go even harder next week at finals!”


“I’m confident that our team will do well Wednesday,” Sophomore Kelsie Licatovich said. “Our team has made a lot of changes and hopefully they’ll make them happen.”

The girls ended up placing sixth place in the finals.