The Valley College Cheer Squad Has Spirit During Tough Times
Valley’s cheer squad supports the Monarchs through good and bad.
Although it has been a tough football season for Valley College so far, the Monarch Spirit Dance squad cheers for the green and gold through triumphs and adversity.
"Our boys, they try out there," said co-captain Karim Coleman on the team's struggles this season. "We just try and be there to support."
The team is lead by head coach Rachel Paul, who is on her fifth year as a Monarch. Paul, who has won four national championships-three with Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks and one with UCLA-said that when she arrived, the team was not where it could have been. She decided to focus the team's attention on the dancing aspect of cheerleading.
"I was a dance major, and I coached at UCLA from '02 to '08, so it made sense to focus on dance," Paul said.
Along with keeping up the school spirit during games, the cheerleaders also have to raise money for their team. At home games, the squad goes into the crowd during halftime to sell raffle tickets.
The money received from selling raffle tickets is to help keep uniforms and equipment that have a price range of $300 to $450 cheap for members. It also helps make it possible for the team to attend away games during the season.
"The 50/50 raffle is the life- blood of the team," said Paul. "[It's] hard to believe that pom-poms are $40 a set."
Like any other sports team, cheerleaders also suffer injuries during sporting events when they keep the Monarchs school spirit alive. Paul said her team is really good at stretching and warming up properly, helping them prevent injuries when they have to perform in all types of weather.
"We all just got to go through it," said Coleman. "You could have a torn hamstring or something or your arm hurts, but we have to go through it sometimes."
Being on the cheer and spirit squad is a time and financial commitment, but it is what brings the members of the team closer together as a family.
"Everybody is fun to be around," said two-year captain Jasmin Soto. "The best part is just getting to perform."
Students who have an interest in becoming a member of the squad must attend an informational meeting. Participants then attend one of two dance clinics held in May, and then they have the opportunity to audition for the Monarch Spirit.
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