Cheer team is unified with new dynamics

Tatum Lindquist, Staff Writer

The Varsity Cheer team has experienced rough patches in the past, but this year, co-captains Riley McNutt, Camryn Ryberg, and Hannah Julius hope to boost positivity and unity amongst both the JV and varsity teams.
McNutt believes that last year’s lack of leadership, motivation, and passion in the cheerleaders created tension within the team, but she noticed a shift in the girls’ attitudes since the start of the season.
“Each of the girls this year decided to make a conscious effort to be a leader in her own life, which definitely reflects the dynamic of the team,” McNutt said.
Varsity and JV coaches Crystal Marcoe and Kelsey Smith recognize that where four or three-year cheerleaders may have shut others’ ideas down in the past, this year the leaders and captains of the team know when to step back and listen and take the time to work through it as a team. Smith feels the team’s goal to be a presence on campus is the biggest difference between this year and last.
“I want them to be a voice here on Liberty, and I want other people to see the positivity that they exude and I want other people to be a part of that,” Smith said.
McNutt feels her biggest role now is to help the team continue being positive and encouraging towards one another. This unity allows varsity to play a bigger role on campus by working more with ASB, participating in more school events, and improving their performances at competitions.
As a former JV cheerleader, sophomore Heaven Manning wasn’t directly affected by varsity’s tension last year, but ever since varsity and JV have been practicing together, she’s noted an increase in unity.
“It’s like we’re a big family,” Manning said.
Moving up to varsity this year, Manning found herself immersed in what she calls a group of passionate, confident girls and three amazingly supportive captains. This new attitude transformed Manning’s outlook—as well as the other cheerleaders—towards this year’s season.