Tryouts, parent meetings scheduled for prospective 2021-22 cheer squad members

KeAndria Hooper and Tiana Sparks

Lufkin High School’s 2020-21 varsity cheer squad at Abe Martin Stadium

Tryouts for Lufkin High School’s 2020-21 cheer squads are right around the corner.

Cheer Head Coach Kirstie Russell said an information packet will be available in the next few weeks for interested candidates to pick up.

“We are excited to welcome all skill levels to our organization,” she said. “If you are a great student in and out of the classroom and love school spirit, then cheerleading might be the sport for you!”

Tryouts are scheduled for April 1. The cheer program has scheduled a meeting for parents of incoming freshmen at 6 p.m. Feb. 15 at Lufkin Middle School, along with a meeting for parents of prospective JV/varsity cheerleaders at 6 p.m. March 15 in the LHS cafeteria.

Current LHS cheerleader Maddie Boudreaux, a junior, said the coaches teach prospective team members different cheers and dances, and that the best way to prepare for the tryouts is to practice as much as possible.

“Not only should you practice the cheer and dance,” she said, “but you should always practice your tumbling and skills. Also, while preparing for cheer tryouts, it’s best to have a positive attitude.”

Self-confidence is key to making the cheer squad, according to Boudreaux and senior Caroline McDanilel, a current cheer captain.

“The most important thing you can bring to cheer tryouts is confidence,” McDaniel said. “When you come in loud and proud, you are going to get (the judges’) attention. A few tips I have is pointing their toes in jumps, working on motion placement, and working on flexibility.”

Boudreaux said, “You have to have confidence during the whole tryout process. If you struggle with self-confidence and keeping a positive attitude, the best thing to do is get motivation and encouragement from your friends and family. During tryouts, the coaches are looking for multiple things, but the most important things are sharp motions and good technique. The coaches are also looking for a loud voice, a lot of spiriting, and good memorization of the choreography.”

Any LHS student can try out to be one of the Panther mascots. Incoming freshmen can try out for the freshman team; incoming sophomores can try out for the junior varsity team; and incoming juniors and seniors have the opportunity to try out for the varsity squad.

Russell encouraged LHS students to listen to upcoming announcements for details about the tryout process, including when they can pick up an information packet. She said she is happy to answer any questions about the process.