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By RAYANNE ALICK, staff writer
After many years, cheerleading has returned in Galena, and the squad would like to go to the 3A state championship with the Galena Lady Hawks in Anchorage.
The cheer squad was formed with special thanks to social studies teacher Miranda Martinez. The Lady Hawks have their first game at state on Thursday, March 21 at the Alaska Airlines Center at 6:30 p.m.
Ms. Martinez is a first-year teacher at GILA and said she has been involved with cheer since the fourth grade. She cheered all through high school and won cheerleading nationals while attending Idaho Falls High School.
The cheer squad is going to be learning more crowd cheers and participate in a lot of sideline cheers when they attend state for 3A basketball.
“I would like to see the program to build into something the whole community can enjoy,” she said, adding that she wants to incorporate the junior high students into the cheer squad.
To raise money for the trip to Anchorage, the cheerleaders are having a fundraising raffle.
“We are trying to raise enough money to go to state,” said Ms. Martinez. “Shirley’s raffle is a part of this, and we are trying various ways to raise money.”
People outside Galena interested in helping the cheer squad go to the state championship are asked to call Ms. Martinez at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (907) 656-7597. She said that she is working on the possibility of being able to accept Alaska USA Transfers.
Ms. Martinez holds practices four times a week, from Monday through Thursday, for two hours a session. Each practice usually consists with a warm-up, reviews, stunt practices, stretching, and conditioning, said Ms. Martinez.
Galena Mayor Nolan Aloysius helps the team a lot with support, bonding and set-ups. Shirley Cleaver also provides support from the community and is the main support with the fundraising.
“I’m proud of them,” said Ms. Martinez.
The cheerleaders are:
Katelyn Aloysius, grade 12 , Galena
Wassillie Gust, grade 12, New Stuyahok
Ghinali Seryak, grade 11, Point Hope
Joseph Montecelli, grade 10, Wasilla
Ravynn Condello, grade 10, Hooper Bay
Natalie Burnham, grade 9, Galena