Velma-Alma Comets – Cheer Spotlight Presented by Arvest Bank

By Derrick Smith

Cheerleading are always seen on the sidelines of football or basketball games, cheering their team to victory. But before they can get to that point, it requires many hours of preparation and planning. Velma-Alma cheer coach, LaDonna Sanders, says that her team definitely puts in the time and work. “Our team’s biggest strengths are work ethic, dedication, and being supportive,” she said. “They usually practice at 6:30 AM, then go to class all day, and most of them have other activities and responsibilities outside of cheerleading. They attended private tumbling and stunting classes all summer to work on their skills.”

When coach Sanders took over the program last year, she moved it in a different direction. The team decided they wanted to be more competitive and compete in competitions. Last year, after a twenty-year hiatus, the Velma-Alma Comet cheerleaders took the mats at Regionals and qualified for the State competition in Tulsa. With a squad of ten, they placed eighth in the state. They were also awarded the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award.

Team member Briley Guthrie says that seeing the school spirit from not only the students, but also from those around town, is what she enjoys the most.  “I enjoy being in a position to be a leader and role model for our school and community. I love being able to get everyone hyped up and cheering for whatever sport is in season.”

Sanders says that her team stays busy year around.  “We kick off the school year with a back to school pep rally,” she said. “We then plan and prepare the pep rallies for the football team. All this is done while preparing for competition. As soon as football season ends, we are going right into basketball season.”

Morgan Egger has confidence in her team and knows that they are always looking out for each other.  “The thing I enjoy most about my team would be how much trust we have in each other and how much we are there for each other,” she said. “When girls are holding you in the air, you have to trust that if something goes wrong they will do everything possible to keep you safe.”