JAHS competition cheer places 5th in Ohio

Madelyn Saiter, Staff writer, social media manager

The Jonathan Alder competition cheer team competed for the state title at Big Walnut High School on Saturday, March 4. 


Jonathan Alder students may recognize the JAHS cheer team from the sidelines on Friday night football games, or during the winter cheering on the basketball teams. This is what would be their regular-sideline cheer season, where they support school teams and interact with the audience. 


While students might only see the cheerleaders during school events, the cheer team has a competition season as well. However, competition cheer is very different from regular-sideline cheer. 


Competition cheer is when cheerleaders perform for the crowd, rather than for other sports teams. At competitions, spectators are focused on the cheerleaders and their performance. 


The Jonathan Alder competition cheer coach, Haley Cochran, says, “Competition is a two-minute and 30-second routine and it’s made up of dance, tumbling, and cheer.” 


The team begins training in August and has a long season to work on and refine their routine. Before states, the team used notes from the judges at regionals to improve their routine. 


Competition cheerleader and junior Sadie Napier says, “After regionals, we had to rework the routine and change a lot within just three weeks before heading for states.” 


While the team usually practices twice a week, Cochran had the team practice even more during the week of competition. 


Napier cays, “She [Coach Cochran] has a schedule for how practice is going to run that day and we usually do three fullouts a practice.” A full-out is a term used for when a team completes their two-minute and 30-second routine from start to finish. 


There were 16 judges at Big Walnut, critiquing the teams on categories from audience participation to the complexity of choreography. The JAHS team performed their routine at 6:45 p.m. and competed against teams like Steubenville High School, Monroe High School, and Bellbrook High School. They placed fifth out of 13 teams in the division III non-building traditional category.