Raiders athletics produced six new members during the cheer squad tryouts.
Kelly Self, Ray Shun, Tony Robinson, Marissa Delgado, Hmway Aung and Sammy Hop now are part of the team. They haven’t been together long but already are getting along well.
“We are already like family,” Hop said.
Shun added, “My family is in Hong Kong and the cheerleading team is my second family in America.”
Team goals for this year include mastering stunts and tumbling.
“Since we’re a small team this year, we want to prove that you don’t have to be a large team to be super good,” Delgado said.
Two international students on the squad this year are Shun and Aung.
“In my country there is no cheerleading, and I really love to motivate people, so I joined cheerleading,” Aung said.
Both Delgado and Self were on cheer teams at their high schools, but this is Hop’s first time as a cheerleader.
“I didn’t get a chance to be part of a team when I was in high school,” Hop said. “I always wanted to do cheerleading.”
Once on the team, the cheerleaders face a sometimes grueling schedule.
“We had to come and learn all of our material. Three cheers, one chant, some stunting and then an entire halftime dance routine in four hours. We then had to go home at nine o’clock at night, practice and then be here at nine o’clock in the morning and try out,” said Delgado, who did competitive gymnastics prior to making this cheer team.
Former U.S. Marine Robinson tried out in the hallway, but his experience has been a positive one.
“I didn’t know (the coach) from Adam and I was just walking, ready to go home. She said, ‘Hey, you look pretty strong. Can you do something for me real quick?’ Then she told me to pick her up and throw her. It was awkward to hear that from a random stranger, but it turned out to be something beautiful,” Robinson said. “I met the coolest people in the world.”
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