It has been a long off season for the Putnam County competition cheerleading team as the fight against COVID-19 has affected the entire operating system of Coach April Smith’s team, but the Lady War Eagles have persevered. They will host the 2020 Fall Frenzy Cheerleading Competition this Saturday, Nov. 14 at Putnam County High School starting around 9:15 a.m.
“Of course we’ve had some setbacks,” said Smith, the 2019 Region Coach of the Year. “For example, the girls having to quarantine due to possible exposure which affects our practice schedule. We were not able to go to camp which helps set the tone for our season.
“There are so many “new normal” procedures. Everything from sanitizing stations at competitions, wearing masks when not performing, scores and award ceremonies are limited.”
The last time the Lady War Eagles were on a competition floor was last spring at the state meet in Columbus. “I love, love these girls. We’ve had to get though some tough times like any family and everyone else during this “new normal” lifestyle,” Smith said. “But the girls have handled it like champs.”
According to Smith, the prep work for this competition has been good.
“It has been great. Having a super supportive administrative support system helps so very much,” she said. “We are lucky to have so many cheer parents, past cheerleaders and parents, staff members and students helping us get ready to make this happen. We are so excited.”
And the routine for the competition is starting to come around even with the limited conditions.
“The routine is still very new and we have a long way to go before region,” Smith said. “We still have a lot of hurtles and challenges to overcome but we are excited to knock off the dust and get started on this season.”
Smith said she will be looking to the upper classmen for leadership but noted it is a total team effort.
“All of the girls on the team at this time are leaders,” she said. “Of course, the upper-class men want to finish strong and have a lot of strong emotion to make sure the team gets the job done. But the group as a whole now are just all really hard workers with a common goal; hitting a great routine.”
Two new freshmen join the squad this year. Lily Frisch and Allison Stone are both strong dedicated girls and super proud of what they bring to the team, Smith explained. They join seniors Syrai Evans India Key and Chloe Ross.
“They all take responsibility and do what I need them to do,” said Smith. “However, all of the girls on the team at this time are good leaders and have a common goal. This group is now clicking and working well together. It’s been an adjustment, but they make me so proud.”