Let’s Go Andover!

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All morning I heard people harping about being worried and anxious. I, on the other hand, had no doubt that I would make the Andover Cheerleading team throughout the entire school day. That was, of course, until Mr. Ewy’s eighth hour social studies class. Vigorously, I worked on my homework and the class sat completely silent, the only sound I heard was the quick clicking of Mr. Ewy’s keyboard. At exactly 2:48 PM, the announcements turned on. “Remember, cheer tryouts will be tonight starting at 3:05.” Immediately, the nerves began to kick in. I am the kind of person that will try to hide my feelings about embarrassing subjects such as being nervous for something as silly as cheerleading tryouts. However, on the inside I was about to burst. Would I make the team?

Apprehensively, I marched to the health hallway, where I settled and waited for tryouts to begin. The future cheerleaders would try out in the gymnasium, where the judges would grade everyone based on a secret rubric. Everyone had to make their way to the middle of the gym by rallying, execute three jumps of their choice, perform the cheer, then chant, and finally move on to the dance. Next, the judges split everyone up in twos by alphabetical order. I was most nervous for the jumps, for I had perfected everything else. Focusing, I began to warm up.

Girls were constantly stretching out, doing v-sits and touching toes. Feeling frightened, I went over my jumps. I jumped into my toe touch, a right-herkie, and a tuck jump. I felt very confident about my herkie and tuck, but not really convinced that my toe touch would look very good.

“Next we have… Abby and Kate,” stated Mrs. Ryan.

Knowing I followed Abby and Kate, I started to mentally pump myself up. In my head, I pictured my toe touch looking impressive. I foresaw myself hitting every motion perfectly, and flawlessly completing the dance. Just as I got finished saying a prayer in my head, everyone heard the bothersome moan of the gym doors opening. It was now my turn! Coaches called Eden, mispronouncing my last name, and then Chelsea Wettig. We held hands as we paced to the dark blue gymnasium doors. Here it goes.

Thunderously, we leaped and scampered to the Trojan head in the center of the floor screaming phrases such as, “Let’s go Trojans!” I put on an unnoticeably fake smile. After the intimidating judges gave us the signal, I started demonstrating my three different jumps. To this day, I do not quite know how my toe touch looked, but I think it looked fine. Next was my herkie, which I am still magnificent at. The butterflies in my stomach annoyingly rumbled their way around. I then did a tuck jump, which is considered the easiest jump in cheerleading. Chelsea completed her three jumps quickly. Finally, I gained confidence in myself. The cheer and chant was next in line and was very easy to do. Music for the dance began. I remember acing the dance routine. I felt amazing, yet shaken from my nerves. Getting through tryouts alone was an accomplishment.



Directly after tryouts for the Andover Middle School cheer team, I had to go home. There was a birthday party later that night that I had to get ready for. Almost as soon as I arrived at the party, I got a phone call from Emily. With loads of enthusiasm, she announced that I had made the team. Yes! A weight was lifted off my shoulders. Even now I feel terribly sorry for all the other girls who did not make the team. I know that they must have felt dreadful, but still I couldn’t help but feel totally excited. Now I was a part of a team!

In the end, cheerleading really was not anything I thought it would be. There were a lot of complaints, but on a more positive outlook I got to know two brilliant people. Kimmie and Kate were my close friends during cheer. Kimmie is still one of my best friends. The most nerve-racking part of cheer since the tryouts, are the assemblies, but that’s a whole other story…





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