The goal for the 2021 Chouteau cheer squad, coach Kita Hendricks said, is simple.
“We want to place in state,” Hendricks said. “We have an awesome group of young ladies who are willing to put in work. We have a great combinations of personalities that create a wonderful team dynamic. When I first started coaching Chouteau had not competed in years, so we basically started from scratch on skills. The first year we competed, four years ago, we had no tumbling skills, and out stunts were very basic. Now we have about half the team that can do some sort of tumbling skills, and we are working on more advanced stunting. We actually have a couple of girls who have the skills necessary to cheer at the next level if they want to. And I’m super excited that we finally have an athlete with the skills needed to be able to submit her for all state.”
That enthusiasm from Hendricks is contagious, and she said it’s evident in the attitude her squad brings to the games. “I love the excitement on the girls faces when they hit a skill they have been struggling with,” she said. “I also love being a part of bringing school spirit to our school. Traveling to away games is always so fun. The girls get excited about singing their songs and just having a good time together.”
In light of last season, Hendricks said the group is proceeding as normal, but with a little more optimism than last year. “We are cautiously excited about this year,” she said. “Last year competitions kept getting pushed back because of Covid, which we thought was cool at the time because we had extra time to practice, but it ended up keeping us from competing because we got quarantined the week before competition. So, we are all super excited to compete, but at the same time you can’t help if you get sick or exposed, so it’s always in the back of our mind that an unexpected illness can keep us from the mat. I would especially hate that so much for our seniors because this group has been competing since their freshman year and they want it so bad.”