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Weleetka Outlaws Cheer Team Spotlight – Presented by Mabrey Bank

So what is involved in putting together a competitive cheer squad? That’s the question we put to Weleetka cheer sponsor Jessica Shenehan. “When we’re holding tryouts or recruiting girls, we look for the more athletic girls to join us because cheerleading isn’t just about standing on the sidelines but involves gymnastics, stunts and tumbling so there’s definitely an athletic element to it,” said Shenehan. “This year we have 15 girls on the squad and more than half of them are involved in another sport at some point in the year.”

The team begins right after school is out in the spring getting ready for next fall’s competitive competition. “Here we use an outside choreographer during the summer that works with us to get our routine ready and we base our routines on what the OSSAA judges are looking for and the personnel we have at the time,” said Shenehan.

  

The Outlaws cheer squad has two captains that Shenehan relies on to keep things on track. One of them is her daughter, junior Kendall Shenehan. “My mom has always been a cheer coach so I grew up with it and I remember being a little kid and watching the high school cheer leaders and I thought it was amazing and something I wanted to do,” said Kendall who has a tumbling background. “This has been the best year so far because I’m older and I get to help the younger kids.”

The other captain is the only senior on the squad, Makenna Stubbs, who has taken on the leadership role for the squad. “I think a good leader is a role model who can step up and know how to encourage someone if they’re having a bad day and someone who’s never going to give up,” said Stubbs. “When I was young there was a senior named Briahna Kincade that I really looked up to and I wanted to be that girl that all the little girls looked up to when I got older. I think my strength is basing. We’re the muscle underneath the spirit in the air.”

This is the third year that both girls have been on the cheer squad and they know they have improved every year they go to competition. They’re hopeful that as they go to this year’s competition later this month that it might be their time to make it to state.

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