Mini-cheerleaders join cheer team in clinics, games


Daniella Moreno

Cheerleader holds hands with a clinic participant at varsity basketball game against Lake Travis.

Avery Humphries, Staff Writer

The cheer team hosted a Future Jags cheer clinic on Saturday, inviting young participants to practice alongside them. Their mini-cheerleaders got the opportunity to perform with them at the varsity boys basketball game on Tuesday.

“It’s a chance to know what Coach Stratton is looking for,” senior cheer captain Ashtyn Williams said. “You get to learn the basics and fundamentals early.”

The clinic offers an opportunity for young cheerleaders to find their feet with the help of more experienced athletes, capable of showing them skills crucial for the sport.

“We taught them three basketball cheers for when they cheer at the game, along with the generic cheers,” sophomore cheerleader Austin Martinez said. “Then they learned a longer cheer which we made for them based on their ages. They also got time to tumble based on their skill level, do jumps and practice spiriting.”

In the past, clinic participants have cheered at several Johnson sporting events with the leadership of the cheer team and coaches. 

“It can be a little hectic,” Martinez said. “But honestly it’s just fun because you get to see them be happy, and it’s such a cute little moment. It’s so fun watching them try their hardest.”

The clinic cost $40 to sign up, and these funds will help the team get to UCA Nationals, the culmination of their competition season, taking place in Orlando, Fla. this February.

“Fundraising for Nationals has been great,” Martinez said. “We have had multiple different kinds of fundraisers. One of them we did a profit share at Esther’s [Tex-Mex].”

With several successful clinics behind them, the team continues to enjoy this chance to reach out to the community and share an experience with the future of their sport.

“They can get a lot from this,” Martinez said. “Coming here multiple times makes a difference when you actually come to high school and try out. It can give you more preparedness.”