Print Marauders’ cheerleading squad prepares for state cheer qualifier
Written by Staci Gasser   
Thursday, 15 November 2012 00:00

With a full and complete squad, the Marauders cheerleaders won’t be just showing off their talent on the sidelines.

Mingus Union High School varsity spiritline athletes practice early in the morning Thursday, Nov. 8, for the poms routine portion of the state qualifying cheer competition to be held in Glendale on Saturday, Nov. 17. The team will compete in poms, cheer and partner stunting categories.The squad is preparing for an Arizona Interscholastic Association state qualifying cheer competition Saturday, Nov. 17, at Copper Canyon High School in Glendale. The Marauders will compete against 15 other teams. The top 10 will continue on to the state competition.

“They will be judged on precision, enthusiasm, appearance and, of course, the technical aspects of their stunting, kickline in poms, things like that,” said Stephanie Foster, who has been the MUHS head cheer coach for two years. “It’s going to be stiff competition.”

The squad will compete in three events: partner-stunting, poms and cheer.

“I think we are going to be surprised in partner-stunting this year,” Foster said. “We have had a couple of football players recently join. The strong boys coupled with good flyers — I’m really excited about it.”

Alex Brewer and Norbert Mesa joined the squad as football season began to wrap-up and the girls begged them to join.

“They said they’d beat me up if I didn’t join,” Brewer said.

“They’ve been begging me for two years now,” Mesa said. “But it’s tons of fun and hard work.”

Alek Valensky is the third boy on the squad.

Foster said the Marauders’ stunts have been elevated to college-level and look more professional after the boys joined.

“It takes a lot of confidence in himself for a boy to join a cheer squad,” Foster said. “But at state competitions, you see big football players all the time now. A squad needs that strength to help with throws.”

The varsity squad has 20 cheerleaders plus the three boys.

“It’s hard to have a big team with all of the dynamics, but we really mesh,” Foster said. “It’s a good group.”

The squad practices two hours every weekday morning, starting at 5:30, so they can use the gym. They will also practice three to four hours on Saturdays when preparing for

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Nov. 14, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.