Cheerleader benefits from extra practices

Michael Long, Reporter

Exhausted after a long cheer practice, freshman Keirstin Piatt gathers her things, changes her clothes, and heads to a different cheer practice for a different group.

Piatt is both a cheerleader for SHS and for a competitive cheer squad called Perfect Ten. Both of these cheer squads practice and perform around the same time so Piatt has to balance cheering for SHS, cheering for Perfect Ten and other things in her life.

Being involved in two cheer squads that practice and perform around the same time is very time challenging according to Piatt.

“On top of games and competitions and practices, a lot of my free time is put in the gym,” Piatt said.

Practice schedules for both of Piatt’s cheer squads occasionally overlap, forcing her to have to jump from practice to practice.

According to Piatt, the SHS cheer squad practices on Thursdays and her competitive cheer squad practices on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays so every Thursday, Piatt has to go straight from the SHS cheer practice to her Perfect Ten practice.

“Sometimes it’s (practicing twice a day) really tiring…” Piatt said.

SHS cheer coach Alie DeHart thinks the fact that Piatt cheers for two squads has both positives and negatives to it. According to DeHart, the extra experience and practice has caused Piatt’s skill to increase quickly.

The negatives, according to DeHart, are finding time to do school work and having a greater risk of injury.

The negatives outweigh the positives in Piatt’s case and she continues to push through the struggles of her schedule because of her love for cheer.

“… the thrill of being out there and the excitement of the crowd and everything…” Piatt said. “… and the fact that you have another team and traveling with your team and getting close with your team, it’s like a family.”