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North cheer starts fall workouts early

July 26, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

The North Fort Myers High School cheer squad didn't have much of a summer break this year, and that might have been a good thing because the squad has a new coach with a new way of doing things.

This year's team will be leaner, better and hopefully without the challenges the cheer squad endured last season, when the freshmen and JV football teams had to merge into one, which meant the cheer had to do the same, creating some difficulties.

New coach Lindsey Buckner started fall practice in July following a month of conditioning in June. It's only two days a week, but it's enough to keep the girls in shape while allowing them to perfect the basics.

Article Photos

The North Fort Myers High School cheer squad holds a practice in the gymnasium last week.


One thing people will notice is there will be fewer cheerleaders. Buckner has condensed the freshman and junior varsity teams into one while downsizing both squads, meaning only the very best will be on the team.

Of the 92 who tried out, about half made it, including alternates.

"There will only be about 20 kids per squad, where in the past they had between 25 and 28. It's more manageable and more competitive and makes it worth their while," Buckner said. "We have the best of the best here."

Buckner said her main focus is on the football season and not anything that could be considered competitive, at least for now. So far, the kids have looked good.

"We're doing two to two-and-a-half hour practices twice a week. Many of the girls have the tumbling skills. Because of vacations we haven't worked with the stunting. We've been learning cheers and doing a lot of team-building," Buckner said.

Among the ways she's building a team is by not having a team captain, instead appointing one before each game or event. Everyone will be on a level playing field.

For three seniors, Savannah Horseman, Kayla Pizzani and Sarah Meyer, that suits them fine. They know they will be counted on as leaders, and so far, it's been good.

"We're teaching the incoming freshmen and all the new cheerleaders all the stuff we need to do to make the team strong," Horseman said. "There's a good mix of experience and those who haven't cheered before, and those who haven't have been working on it at home."

"It's been easier with a more condensed group because people know what's happening better," Pizzani said.

"It's been different because she wants to give the seniors more leadership. It gives the whole group more people to look up to. And more of a chance for us to be leaders," Meyer said.

With a new way of doing things and a fresh mindset, Buckner said she is looking forward to seeing what her team has.

"I'm really excited. Being an arts school, we have a lot of talent here. It's going to be good and really talented," Buckner said.



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