Rector Cheerleading Program Soars
The Rector cheerleading program has seen a steep growth in participation in the past two years as more and more young participants have become active in the organization. Cheerleading sponsor Rachel McNamee currently has a total of 61 young ladies taking part in the mini, peewee, junior high and high school levels of the program.
Senior high cheerleaders are: Sydney Simmons, Kaylee Hartsfield, Amy DeMent, Jordan Crane, Madison Cate, Katie Bowers and Lindsey Shelton. Junior high cheerleaders are: Lydia Bucy, Cheyenne Patterson, Bailey Hoots, Matison Dean, Avery Bucy, Cobi Buck, Sarah Willis, Brittany Glasco and Naomi Blasingim. The senior and junior high squads were present throughout the football and basketball seasons, bringing spirit to the masses of Cougar athletics fans.
The peewee cheerleaders have also been staples of the football and basketball seasons, supporting the Rector Elementary athletics programs. Peewee cheerleaders are: Natalie Shelton, Sarah Robinson, Gracyn Robinson, Colbie Robinson, Ashlyn Mills, Alexis Brandon, Carly White, Rileigh Smith, Kasey Johnson, Kosie Huggins, Callie Gore, Jaydin Bullinger, Sophie Simmons, Makena Parrish, Hannah Frost, Emily Garron and Zoey Blount.
The newest addition to the program is the mini cheerleader squad. Created by McNamee as an alternative to the former mascot program, the mini squad includes girls in kindergarten through third grade, allowing for a large group to take part in cheerleading events as opposed to a select few. Mini cheerleaders are: Kaylee McClung, Olivia Sutherland, Zoe McNabb, Haven Wilson, Hayley Naney, Carly Robinson, Madison Thompson, Alexis Harmon, Karah Hayes, Jacklyn Pipkin, Harleigh Speer, Madison Wolfenbarger, Kaley Isom, Carly Rodden, Bethany McNeely, Mattie McClung, Haleigh Frost, Madison Nutt, Gracie Casebier, Sophia Hill, Kaitlyn Paul, Haylee Parrish, Haleigh Wilson, Emma Holmes, Libby Green, Kaelyn Burns, Maggie Rabjohn and Karrin Henderson.
"The mini cheerleader program lets them get out there and see if it's something they want to do," McNamee said. "If they go out there and enjoy it, then they can be a part of the peewee (squad). Once they get in peewee, they learn more and come into junior high with a better understanding and are more ready."
McNamee noted the program will host a special mini cheerleader clinic for students entering kindergarten through the second grade for the upcoming school year the week if May 13 through May 17. Persons wanting additional information may call the school at (870) 595-3553.
The junior and senior high squads are active year-round. In addition to their athletic schedules and special events, the older cheerleaders also take part in weekly gymnastics training at Champions in Paragould in preparation of the annual state competition at Hot Springs.
"Our cheerleaders put in a lot of hard work," McNamee said. "I think that's something a lot of people don't realize."