NHS Cheer Practice Starts

Isabella Sparks, staff writer

NHS is starting restricted athletic practices for fall and winter sports. This pleases the athletes and the two Cheer couches, Jessica Leek and Jennifer Hamby.

Leek explained the practice restrictions: “I have to break my teams up into three groups of 14. Athletes are 6 feet apart and wear masks to and from practice. They [use] hand sanitize every practice and do a Covid screening sheet before coming to practice. Coaches wear masks at all times and athletes bring an individual water bottle.”

Jadyn Oates feels excited to practice even with the restrictions and the changes. “The first thing we do when we walk in is hand sanitize,” Oates said.

The athletes also have to turn in a half-sheet of paper stating they are healthy and don’t have covid. Oates says “We bring this paper and a bottle of water for us to be allowed to practice.”

Feeling like a team can be difficult. Leek’s biggest challenge is “not being able to practice with my entire team and making sure all the athletes are following the covid protocols.”

Coach Hamby agrees. She says that her biggest challenge starting practices again is “making sure that all the athletes understand the importance of following all the guidelines put in place.”

The practice restrictions are manageable. “The coaches are wearing masks the whole practice and enforcing social distancing. This is what we have to do right now to keep our athletes and coaches safe,” said Leek.

Normally the cheer season starts in late June. This year the NHS cheerleaders are starting in October. Hamby is most excited about being able “to meet and work with my new team. It’s exciting to see student-athletes back on campus and doing what they love to do.”