Berryville cheers its way to a championship
In June, the Berryville varsity cheer team attended a competitive team camp with the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) in Hot Springs. The team brought home the Herkie award, showing that Berryville displayed qualities that the NCA was founded on. They also received blue ribbons for their performance routine, camp chant and cheer.
This was the first year the Berryville cheer team had 24 members at the camp, as in previous years they only had 14.
"Competing against schools like Shiloh (Christian) who had 33 girls last year was difficult for a squad of 14," Berryville cheer coach Missy Jackson said.
After the increase in roster size, there were 63 ladies who competed for a spot on this years team. As part of the Coaches Continuing Education program, Berryville coaches Ciera Woodruff and Jackson attended the Arkansas Cheer Coaches Association meeting in the spring and the Arkansas Activities Association meeting this summer.
"We took the advice of Arkansas State coach Paige Pauley and implemented a leadership team of six captains rather than the standard two or three," Jackson said. "With 24 cheerleaders there is a lot to organize and each captain has specific duties they are responsible for. It has worked so well this year during camp and organizing our summer and fall schedules."
Berryville cheerleaders have been fundraising throughout the community during the past month. Jackson said this is important for the team, as they are raising money for uniforms, gas and hotels.
"Fundraising is key in this sport," Jackson said. "It is an expensive sport and some of the kids need help to cover the cost. This sport is so good for their development as young adults. When fundraising, they have to get out in the community and speak to business owners. They are also ambassadors for their school."
Berryville will honor different groups of people in the community for each home football games this season such as the veterans and the police department.
"We believe it's important to recognize the people of our community who have sacrificed and continue to help our community be a great place to be," Woodruff said. "It's my job as a teacher and coach to guide our cheerleaders to give back to their community."
Berryville had 21 All-American nominees at the cheer camp and Mary-Kennedy Jackson won All-American honors. As a result, she will be going to London on Dec. 26 and will compete in the New Year's Day Parade. She will also be offered a position with the NCA once she turns 18.