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home : sports : huskie sports May 28, 2016

2/4/2013 7:06:00 PM
Cheerleaders pump up the crowd
The Huskie cheerleaders perform during a halftime performance at last Friday’s basketball game. Photo by Erik Pague.
The Huskie cheerleaders perform during a halftime performance at last Friday’s basketball game. Photo by Erik Pague.
Erik Pague

When you go to sporting events you can count on seeing some young men and women giving their all to get the win for their home team. It takes dedication, commitment and hard work to claim victory. Sure, the athletes take a lot of the credit, but that doesn't mean the cheerleaders rooting for their team and getting the crowd pumped up don't get to share in the glory.
The Othello High School cheerleading squad works just as hard as any other group of athletes to nail their routines and chants. Ask any of them what it takes and they all say practice and hard work are the keys to success - just like any other sport. Captain Hannah Fegert has been a cheerleader for two years and said she's put in plenty of time into her routines.
"We practice every day we can unless if we have a game or a match," the junior said. "If we're preparing for a performance like this week, we might do double practices."
It doesn't stop when they leave practice, either. Fellow captain Carly Gearheart said they're always fine-tuning their routines when they're at home.
"We practice outside of our practice," she said. "We go home, practice our routine and we just put it all together."
In addition to their usual work, the captains organize workouts, help with junior cheerleaders, taking donations and giving up their free time to help the team any way they can.
Even with all the time they commit, they still perform well in their studies and coach Audrey DeVogelaere is proud to say her cheerleaders currently have the best GPA of all the winter sports teams.
"Our athletic director (Don Bullis) emailed us a few weeks back and said our grades were the best out of all the winter sports," DeVogelaere said. "(It was) a nice compliment to get, especially considering how much these girls are gone in the afternoons and evenings for different commitments."
Both DeVogelaere and fellow coach Kristi Bottineau were cheerleaders in their high school days and said it's great to be part of something that develops leadership skills teaches the girls so much.
"I think that was probably the big part I liked about it in high school," DeVogelaere said. "Being a part of that with these girls is huge for me. It's nice to be able to be a kind of a role model, a leader and help them develop their leadership abilities as well.
During last Friday's home basketball game, the cheerleaders performed a routine featuring the pendulum - a stunt they've been practicing a lot. As the cheerleader who's being thrown and caught by her teammates a lot, Fegert said building trust is a big part of mastering their routine.
"If I fall I'm not going to hit the ground, they're going to catch me," she said. "I'm not worried anymore."
If someone does fall during practice, the whole team has to do pushups, so it's something they take seriously.
Throughout this week, the squad has been working with junior cheerleaders to help them develop their own routine that will be performed during tomorrow night's home basketball game against Ellensburg. So if you're a Huskie fan, make sure you get to the game and help the cheerleaders root for the team and have some fun.

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