In her first summer as Woodsboro High School and Junior High cheerleading sponsor, Melissa Segers has already strived for excellence with her crew.
Taking over the position for the 2021-22 school year, Segers recently traveled with her WHS cheer team to UCA cheer camp in Galveston, gaining new cheers as well as valuable insight on the sport from professionals.
“They did great,” Segers said. “They were very positive, all the instructors were impressed with how positive the group was, how quickly they learned, and how well they worked together.”
The four-day camp took place June 14-18 in Galveston, where the cheer athletes of WHS were taught new cheers, chants, dances, stunts and “team-building” activities. By the time the team departed back home, they had earned the superior ribbon for being quick studies of the new cheer material, as well as the spirit stick for displaying a high level of spirit and energy.
“Whenever I took over, I started researching different camps ... I was really excited for the girls ... for all the hard work they were going to have to put in, I wanted it to also be a positive and fun experience,” Segers said. “They had not been to camp in several years ... I just wanted it to be fun, positive, and a really good learning experience, and I think it was. They did a really good job.”
The WHS troupe was also awarded on the individual level. Freshman Jaqulynn Tully became accustomed to her new surroundings with ease, earning All-Amerian Cheer honors through learning an extra dance and cheer at camp. On the final day, Tully performed her newly-learned routine in front of more than 500 campers.
“She got out there and she performed and she really shined,” Segers said. “We were really proud of her.”
The camp is not the end for 2021-22 preparation, as the cheer squad embarks on two-hour practices twice a week to hone their craft. The team will incorporate parts of the UCA camp routine into their football pep rallies in the fall, a crucial part of what Segers calls the “role” of her girls within the Woodsboro district.
Along with practicing routine, Segers instills life skills onto her students, allowing the team to flourish as community leaders.
“I want the girls to understand that they’re leaders of the school, with spirit,” Segers said. “I want them to always be at their best, because little girls are looking up to them, (at) elementary (and) junior high. I just feel like leadership skills are very important in the role they play in the school system.”
Segers said that she enjoys being around her team, and wants to cultivate positivity in order to perform under the Friday football lights and at other school functions. The team, she noted, is about “Woodsboro pride.”
“(Woodsboro pride means) community. Community involvement, community spirit, it’s all about community in Woodsboro.”