As the spring football season began, varsity cheerleaders at Naples High School practiced by conditioning, learning cheers and repeating jumps for their football game last Friday, May 21.

The cheerleading coaches at NHS believed it was necessary for cheerleaders to condition this upcoming year, so practices started on May 17. For three days, Coach Martin trained the cheerleaders.

“Building in conditioning time to build up or back up strength is a must for this upcoming season,” varsity coach Jennifer Berning said. “This will help prepare the teams for stunting when things are back to normal.”

With junior varsity coach Vanessa Fox not participating this season, the cheer program is finding alternative ways to be efficient in their preparations for the football season.

“Coach Vanessa will definitely be missed,” Berning said. “Personal health, work and family are a priority in her schedule right now. When she comes back she will be rested, fresh and ready to pick up where she left off.”

This season, many incoming sophomores were invited to the varsity cheer team. Such a big change stimulated a mix of emotions coming from different student athletes.

“I am so grateful that I was accepted into the varsity team,” freshman Anya Mclaughlin said. “To be honest, I never thought I would make it this far so I was genuinely surprised when I saw the results.”

The older varsity cheerleaders have been doing a great job of teaching the girls new routines. 

“Based on skills, varsity will be a strong team this upcoming year,” Berning said. “I hope that the older, veteran girls in the program will be great role models to the younger teammates about how to leave the drama behind, keep focused on the team goals and represent Naples High and our cheerleading program well.”

Though this upcoming season may be tough for these student athletes, they are all happy to participate in such an interactive sport.

“I wish that my friends from JV were on the same team,” freshman Katie Stevens said. “But I’m happy to get to be with a new group too.”