Cheerleaders in training

SHS varsity cheerleaders take young girls under their wings


Kelsey Jones

Emma Quinlin cheers with the varsity cheerleaders on Aug. 17.

As spectators look down on the track at the SHS cheerleaders during football games, they can see that they are all unified, yelling the same cheers and making the same moves. A little further down the line, one can see three little girls who are half the size of the varsity cheerleaders, trying the best they can to mimic them.

Five year-old Tatum Kompara, 4 year-old Charlie Kompara and 6 year-old Emma Quinlin all cheer and have a relationship with the SHS varsity cheerleaders.

These girls do look up to the SHS cheerleaders. Charlie looks up to junior Keirstin Piatt, and Tatum,  looks up to all of the cheerleaders. Emma looks up to junior Jessica Quakenbush. According to Emma, having the other cheerleaders there for her makes her want to cheer even more.

“(I want to cheer) because I have my friends,” Emma said.

Not only does cheering with the SHS high schoolers bring joy to Tatum, Charlie and Emma, it also has a positive effect on the high schoolers themselves. According to junior varsity cheerleader Jessica Quakenbush, cheering with the three little girls helps her and the other cheerleaders keep a smile on her face even when it has been a stressful day.

“It’s like having your little best friend there and their always encouraging you and always making it better,” Quakenbush said.

Kelsey Jones
Tatum Kompara (front) Emma Quinlin (back) cheer in the Card’s first football game on Aug. 17.

Having Tatum, Charlie and Emma cheering with the SHS cheerleaders makes both the cheerleaders happy but it makes the little girls especially happy and gives them even more experience than they already have with the sport.

According to Ashley Quinlin, Emma’s mother, Emma sees the older girls as her heros. When Emma was little she would always watch cheerleading and she said she wanted to be like them. Originally, Emma’s parents had put her in gymnastics, but she just wasn’t as into it as she was with cheerleading. Unfortunately Emma is not old enough to cheer in a program yet, so the high schoolers have taken her under their wings to make sure she gets the opportunity to cheer.

According to Brianna Kompara, Tatum and Charlie’s mom, Charlie is on a gymnastic team, but still cheers with the high schoolers. Tatum is on a competitive cheer team. She started to go to cheer camp at the age of 2, and her favorite part of it has been to do the stunts at practices. Another thing she loves to do is to cheer in the big games.

Tatum, Charlie, and Emma all wish to be just like the varsity cheerleaders when they are older, but with Tatum, she wants to be something else when she’s older.

“I want to be a horse trainer and I want to be a cheerleader,” Tatum said.

See Tatum and Emma perform with the high schoolers at the SHS football game at 7:30 p.m. at the stadium.