Cheerleaders soar high at St. John’s game


David Shutts

The cheer team performs their halftime routine.

Emerson Heath, Staff Writer

The Upper School cheerleaders assembled in formation in the center of Rice Stadium as the music started and their much-awaited annual Kinkaid-St. John’s game routine began. 

The routine began with a blend of dancing and tumbling, followed by stunting. After the stunting, the cheerleaders ran their tumbling passes; some girls did back handsprings, cartwheels and back tucks. 

The cheer routine combined varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders and it is the only time in the season the entire Upper School cheer program performs together. 

“We started rehearsing about a month before the big day,” sophomore and varsity cheerleader Bennett Bowman said. 

“Two weeks into rehearsing for Homecoming, we had to start working on the St. John’s routine,” Bowman said.

Once the cheerleaders arrived at Rice Stadium, excitement about the evening faded for some of them because it had been raining all day and they were worried about how much cheering they could do. But the field was dry enough for cheerleaders to perform safely. 

When she first saw the cheer routine, sophomore Margaret Smith was astounded.

“I think it was so cool,” Smith said.

Her favorite part of the routine was the flyers being thrown in the air. 

“I was like, ‘How in the world do they do that?’ ” she said. 

The music cheerleaders used was a mashup of recording artists Rhianna, Calvin Harris, Lady Gaga, and Kanye West and it was curated by the cheer coaches. 

“I was most proud of the pyramid because we hit all of our stunts,” sophomore and side-base Maia MiQuel said. 

MiQuel expressed her appreciation for the loud student section. 

“When they cheer us on, we feel more confident,” she said. 

The performance only took five minutes, but it took about a month to prepare. 

“We work so well as a team on and off the mat. We are like a family that pushes each other to do the best we can,” MiQuel said.

The routine ended with an in-sync dance with all the cheerleaders in a triangle formation.