Atascadero High School cheerleaders inspired young girls who were delighted to join them at a home football game. Photo by Morgan Orgeron
Aspiring young cheerleaders joined AHS cheerleaders at the varsity football game on Friday, Aug. 31 as part of the Youth Cheer Clinic, an annual interactive, fun, and instructional program run by AHS Cheer. The program allows kids from the community to learn about cheer and get the opportunity to cheer at a varsity football game. Participants not only cheered on the sidelines, but also went out on the field and danced to the song “Cotton Eye Joe” during halftime. With a combined total of 103 AHS and youth cheerleaders on the field at the game, the event was a big success.
The Youth Cheer Clinic is open to boys and girls ages 5-13 and lasted five days. Participants worked on learning stunts, jumps, different cheers, and a special dance routine. Varsity cheer Coach April Haworth was in charge of the clinic and the AHS cheerleaders were mentors for the the young cheerleaders. Each cheerleader taught and worked with one youth cheerleader. “The kids loved the halftime show and they loved their buddies. Everyone created great relationships from it,”said Haworth.
Youth Cheer Night has been a popular tradition at AHS for a long time. Coach Haworth said “The best part is the teaching and passing down traditions and special AHS cheers. I hope they’ll come here later and be able to remember being in the program when they were younger.” The program has been a great way to get involved with cheer before high school and has inspired participants to try out. Varsity cheerleader junior Morgan Lasslett said, “I did youth cheer when I was in second grade. I enjoyed making new friends and jumping around cheering on the team. At the end of the season we got to cheer with the high school team, and that was one of the best memories I have from youth cheer. I was so devastated I could only do it for one game, so my goal and dream was to be a cheerleader in high school.”
The youth cheer program was a success, thanks to the amazing effort by AHS cheerleaders. Kids and parents enjoyed the experience, as well as everyone watching the game. The unique tradition gives the school and AHS cheer a connection to the community, and will hopefully be continued for many years to come.