GREENVILLE — The Greenville varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders completed two days of University Cheerleaders Association camp Thursday and Friday.
“The girls are really looking good … they have worked very hard; we wanted to bring UCA,” Greenville cheer adviser and co-varsity cheer coach Carol Paul said. “Safety is a big issue with our cheerleaders, and we want to make sure they are doing things right.”
“We are mainly teaching basic techniques, how to do things properly to help prevent injury and help them as far as their skill levels so they can go to the next level of cheerleading,” UCA head instructor Chris Schultz said.
Pittsburg State University head cheerleading coach Chis Schultz brought his 20 years of cheerleading experience to Greenville along with UCA instructor and Ball State cheerleader Allison Wilson for two days of intense cheerleading instructions.
Coach Schultz played multiple high school sports including wrestling and after graduating high school got a full-ride to college as s college cheerleader at Memphis State and Morehead State.
“A lot of colleges give scholarships for cheerleading,” Schultz said. “It’s beneficial to get help to pay for school. I went to college and didn’t pay a single dime, just with college scholarships.
“I completely consider cheerleading a sport,” Schultz said. “I played multiple sports through high school, but I’ve had more bumps and bruises more time where I wanted to quit cheerleading than I did in wrestling or what it might be. I do feel it’s a lot tougher just because it’s more involved … stamina, endurance, strength, technique and everything like that.
“This is a great group of girls,” Schultz said. “They are doing very good. There has been progression. That is always a plus when they come in especially with good attitudes, are ready to work and be better than what they are.”
“Here at UCA we like to promote safety, skill progressions and technique,” Ball State cheerleader Allison Wilson said. “Coming to Greenville and teaching them from the ground up, it’s been a great experience to see the girls progress.
“Greenville has had the best dance that I have seen this year, and I have done 16 camps,” Wilson added. “These girls are working hard and getting things so quickly. It’s something to be proud of here at Greenville.”
“My No. 1 thing that I always try to convince girls if they want to cheer in college and you don’t come from a very strong stunting school is go to clinics,” Wilson continued. “My senior year of high school I went to seventeen clinics alone in two months, so my biggest thing is go to clinics even if you don’t want to go to that school. Get your name out there. Get stunting with different people and get yourself involved in the cheerleading world.
“College is just more vigorous,” Wilson said. “Here in Ohio it’s a little bit more difficult because there is not a whole lot of stunting schools.
“It is a privilege for Greenville to be able to stunt because there are a lot of rules about that,” Wilson said. “When you go to college a lot of the girls have a hard time transitioning into stunts just because they do come from Ohio, a place where they don’t stunt very often.
“In college we see a lot higher stunts, things are just a lot more competitive overall,” Wilson said. “To try-out for a college team is just a lot more difficult because of the competitive spirit of it.”
Greenville co-varsity cheerleading coach Kristalyn Bush brings cheerleading experience to the Wave squad having cheered all through high school at Green High School in Franklin Furnace in Southern Ohio.
“I cheered all through high school,” Bush said. “We went to camps at Ohio State and Morehead State. I traveled and was on a traveling competition squad. We went to Disneyland and all sorts of things. I’m hoping to bring all that to Greenville.”
The Green Wave cheerleaders will compete at the Great Darke County Fair in the 24th annual cheerleading competition in front of the grandstand on Aug. 15 with competition starting 11 a.m.
“I don’t think people realize how much time we put in,” Paul said. “Some of the girls are busy all summer getting ready for competition. As a coach you have to have a love for it … you have to love the sport, and you have to love the girls you’re working with. That’s what it’s about … it’s about the kids.”
Sophomore Taylor Ward received the UCA Camp Varsity Jump-Off Trophy while freshman Hope Byrum was taking home the junior varsity hardware.
UCA all-Americans selected from the varsity squad are: senior Kimmy Martin, junior Serena Stastny and sophomores Heidi Brickler and Taylor Ward.
UCA all-Americans chosen from the JV squad are sophomore Madison Meade and freshmen Bailey Bach and Hope Byrum.
All-American UCA cheerleaders were chosen based on a try-out including jumps and a dance and cheer taught at the two-day camp.
Varsity members selected as UCA all-Americans are invited to participate in the 2015 Varsity Cheer Tour in London and will cheer in the New Year’s Day London Parade featuring the UCA/NCA/USA all-Americans. JV members chosen are invited to participate in the 2014 Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia.