Spartan cheer to make debut at Nationals



The Spartan varsity cheer team celebrates a first place win on Oct. 29 in the Mid-South Regional Cheer competition. The team will travel to Disney World in February of 2023.


Keep smiling. Don’t fall. Stay tight. These are a few thoughts that run through cheerleaders’ heads while waiting backstage for their music to begin. On Oct. 29, 2022, the Spartan cheer team represented White Station in the Regional Mid-South Cheer Competition at the Renaissance Convention Center in downtown Memphis.

This varsity team placed first in their division and will be the first Spartan Cheer Team traveling to Disney World for nationals with the help of adequate funding. 

“I think we performed pretty well,” Nadia Robinson (11) said. “Our hard work really paid off.”

During the season, the team had to balance practicing for football games and preparing for the regional competition. Since their competition cheers and game-day cheers require different routines and diverse skills, the team had a strenuous season with many months spent practicing for both.

“We started practicing during the summer,” Kamyiah Parson (11) said. “[During the season] we practiced hard on Tuesdays and Thursdays and even had weekend practices that were hours long.”

Since only 16 cheerleaders are allowed on the mat during competition, Chelsea Snell, the varsity cheer coach, had tough decisions to make about who would be competing in the regional competition. Throughout the season, members had to be conscious of their behavior and performance during practice to ensure their spot on mat to represent White Station.

“Everyone had to fight for their spot,” Parson said. “Throughout practices we had to show Coach [Snell] that we not only deserved it but also really wanted it.”

While independence is crucial in cheerleading as each member must learn the cheers and pull their own weight, they do not have to endure it alone. Snell provided many resources and worked alongside the team to ensure that their performance would be the best it could be. 

“She does a lot,” Mackinlee Holmes (10) said. “[Everything from] encouraging words and bringing in choreographers to scheduling extra practices, even on the weekends.”

Although bases and backspots may hold a pyramid together, teamwork and responsibility keep the team grounded and secure. As the team walked onto the mat, nervousness flowed through each cheerleader. However, as they practiced each routine, excitement surged and the anxiety slowly faded.

“I don’t really get nervous until I hit the mat,” Robinson said. “It’s like all the emotions rush into me at once.”

Team stability is one of the most important aspects of cheer, on and off the mat. During competition the team keeps each other calm and stable to mentally prepare them to perform to their best abilities.

“We always encourage each other [at the competition],” Parson said. “I have faith in my team, we have faith in each other and we make sure to let each other know that.”