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PCHS cheer preps for football season

By Denise Hester for the FCT

High school football season might only be just beginning, but for the Phil Campbell High School cheerleaders, work begins long before kick-off.

The new 2016-2017 varsity cheer squad at Phil Campbell High School started off the year by attending UCA Cheer Camp at the University of Alabama May 31 through June 3. The girls spent four days learning many new cheers, chants and dances for the upcoming year. Cheer Coach Theresa Garrard said while they worked long, hard days, they made memories that will last a lifetime.

The final day of camp concluded with competition in Extreme Routine and Game Day (cheer, chant and band dance). They competed against ten small varsity squads (less than 13 members) and placed 2nd in Extreme Routine, Cheer and Sideline and 3rd in Overall Game Day. Senior Bethany Harris received an invitation to try out for the UCA staff.

After taking a month off, the girls worked on signs for football season during the month of July and started back to practice last week to prepare for the upcoming football season. “The girls work two days a week throughout the year in order to be ready for football and basketball games,” Garrard said. “Every time they step on the ramp at the football stadium or court in the gym, their main goal is to do the best they can and represent their school well.”

The squad is made up of 12 girls who, Garrard said, not only excel in cheering but in other sports and academics.

Seniors and co-captains of this year’s squad are Abby Swinney, Bethany Harris and Haley D. Scott. Juniors are Anna Brooke Garrison, Carley Nix, Leeah Jackson and Olivia Knight, and sophomores are Anna Benford, Anna Beth Gunderman (mascot: Bruiser the Bobcat), Karley Welborn, Maddie Riddle and Maggie Fowler.