Park City High School is taking a new direction with their Cheer squad. A new coach with extensive experience in Cheerleading has taken over the team and they have big plans for supporting all Park City High School sports teams but also venturing into regional and national competition of their own.
Park City High School Cheerleading Team Head Coach, Ashley Baer has been cheerleading since she was a toddler living in Florida where she says the sport is very competitive. High School Senior Tatam Burdige says her mom was a cheerleader at Park City High School.
“I decided to do cheer because it looked fun and I wanted to be involved with the high school more. It has changed my life. It’s made me more confident in myself and I love being part of the school and I love being at the football and basketball games. And, it’s different from dance which I was used to. And, it’s different form any other team sports. And I really, really love it.”
Coach Baer says the physical requirements to participate in the sport are as demanding as any other high school activity. She explains they have 29 on the team for the game day division which is more traditional cheerleading.
“Crowd leading, crowd involvement and the spirit aspect of cheer. And then we have tryouts for what we call our comp team which they compete in a division called show cheer. And that is more vigorous tumbling and stunting aspects of cheer alongside of having the traditional elements of cheer as well.” The cheerleading team has a busy schedule in addition to the rigor and athleticism of the sport. Baer says the members are ambassadors of the program and try to attend as many events as possible.
“I know just this weekend alone we did Friday night’s game. Saturday, we went to an Alzheimer’s walk and then followed with a National Abilities Summit Challenge. And then Sunday we worked with the Solomon Foundation for their sports registration events. That’s four events within three days."
Baer says they would like to have more boys try out to be on the team. Last year they had one boy who was on the squad.
“Football players will come and talk to the cheerleaders after the game and I watched a football player do a standing back tuck in his pads and I said, hey, we would love to have you as a member of our team if you want to bring those athletic abilities to the cheer program.”
The game day cheerleading team is in place for the year. Show Cheer try-outs require more elite stunts like tumbling passes and pyramids.
“We’re going to take anywhere between 12 and 16. So, it just depends on where our skill level is at. They have to have a standing back spring as a requirement. So, it depends on what they bring to try-outs. This year, we’re competing in stunts and show cheer for both of these qualifiers in hopes that we can qualify for nationals.”
Cheerleading is not a sanctioned sport in Utah’s high schools which means there is no funding that comes from the school district.
Everything is paid for through fundraising or families supporting the program.
They’re holding fundraiser training clinics to teach younger students some cheers prior to the Miner’s Day Parade. Those who participate in the training will be able to march with the squad. in the parade. The training for the parade is Saturday, August 31st.
They’ll hold another fundraising clinic next week for students who want to take part in the half time show on September 6 at the football game.
On September 18th at 5:30, they’re holding a homecoming parade on Main Street which will include the entire school. Sports teams, administration, student council, and all clubs and activities groups are invited to participate.
On September 19, Versante Restaurant at the Peaks Hotel will give 25 percent of their profits to the Cheerleading Team, if you mention their name.
Go to https://pchscheer.wixsite.com/website for more information.