Athletes in Carmel’s cheerleading program work hard.
Practicing at least three or four days each week preparing for the fall football season earned the high school students various titles in competition. In October 2019, the junior varsity team took home a state title. In November, the varsity team earned third place at the IASP State Cheerleading Championships. At the same competition, the freshman team earned fifth place in a competition meant for JV and varsity teams.
“Once school starts, the teams are practicing at least three or four days a week and cheering for their respective football team on Friday or Saturday,” CHS cheerleader coach Brooke Kibler said. “There is a lot of time and energy put into the fall competitive cheer program. Along with practices, we also encourage the girls to take an advanced physical conditioning class while in school to maintain strength and agility as well as an outside tumbling class.”
For the 2019-20 school year, the program had 52 cheerleaders – 12 on the freshman team, 20 on JV and 19 on varsity.
Video submissions for the varsity stunt group and all-state individual competition are required before cheerleaders can compete against other high-performing groups. This year, two stunt groups and senior Alyssa Crossen were chosen. One stunt group came in second place and the other in fourth. Crossen was chosen as one of a group of 12 from a larger group of 46 for individual all-state. In addition, the freshman team earned a fifth-place title.
“Since there wasn’t a freshman division for our freshman team to compete in, we (coaches and team members) chose to have our freshman team compete in a game-day format leading the crowd for one minute in the Varsity Time Out Division,” Kibler said. “This division was the only one they could compete in. We are so proud of our freshman team.”
Kibler said Carmel Clay Schools, in all aspects, has a standard of excellence, but in the cheerleading programs, students are driven to apply cheerleading skills beyond practices, competition and games,
“Respect, integrity and pride are at the core of our value system. We hold our athletes accountable in these areas and encourage them to think about these standards in cheerleading and also outside of the gym,” Kibler said. “Each season, the teams create new goals, and we establish program values that we strive to adhere to all season long.
“All of the teams are important, and our seniors and upperclassmen encourage the new members of the program on different teams as much as they would their own teammate.”