Mini Sultans cheerleaders bring giant spirit

0
112
WEBSantanaCheer1.jpg

One Friday night every year, the sidelines at Santana football games get packed as tight as the stands for the Mini Sultans Cheer Clinic.

This year, 89 kids ages three to 13 joined the cheerleaders for a week of practice that culminated in a halftime show during Santana’s game against Mar Vista.

Kelsie Kester, 13, said she has performed in plays before, but looking up at the packed stands at halftime was something else.

“I was nervous at first, but once you got into the feeling of cheering and having team spirit it was pretty fun,” Kester said.

One Friday night every year, the sidelines at Santana football games get packed as tight as the stands for the Mini Sultans Cheer Clinic.

This year, 89 kids ages three to 13 joined the cheerleaders for a week of practice that culminated in a halftime show during Santana’s game against Mar Vista.

Kelsie Kester, 13, said she has performed in plays before, but looking up at the packed stands at halftime was something else.

“I was nervous at first, but once you got into the feeling of cheering and having team spirit it was pretty fun,” Kester said.

Sophomore cheerleader Camryn Ellis said the clinic can be an excellent introduction to cheerleading.

“We like to show the little kids what their experiences are going to be,” Ellis said. “If they want to be in cheer or if they don’t want to be in cheer, it’s a great opportunity for them to come and practice just to see what high school cheer is about.”

To keep it simple for the younger participants, advisor and head cheer coach Trisha Bertussi said they teach basic cheers and dance moves. Kester said her favorite was the “Stomp and Shake It” cheer.

Though Bertussi said the clinic has been held every year since she was in elementary school about 15-20 years ago, in the last three years it nearly tripled in size, from 33 participants to 89. As a result, this year’s clinic raised about $3,000 to $4,000 — the bulk of the cheer team’s budget for the year.

But for Ellis and the other cheerleaders, fundraising is secondary to the smiles on the participant’s faces.

“It’s fun to see the joy inside of them because they get to hold the poms or they get to cheer alongside the older girls,” Ellis said.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here