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By HALEY OKTOYAK, staff writer
Cheer squad coach Miranda Martinez will be preforming at all hometown basketball games, and the squad hopes to do a halftime performance during the boy’s games against Nome on Feb. 21-22.
The squad has been doing sideline cheers while the games are going on, and they are trying to get the crowd loud with their cheers alongside with them, said coach Martinez.
This year has seen more elementary students instead of high school students, and more kids taking part in the cheer squad, which has been a challenge, she said. A lot of newer cheerleaders are younger this year.
Transitioning from high school to elementary school has a different mindset, she said. When kids are younger, they have different skills. “It has turned into a blessing,” she said, “but I had to completely reevaluate what I was doing with the program.”
The cheer squad has members ranging from elementary to the 12th grade. To prepare for the games, they stretch, tumble and do flips, jumps and some stunts along the way as an exercise.
Coach Martinez, who is a high school social studies teacher, was a cheerleader in her high school years and is the cheerleading coach here in Galena this year.
This year’s cheerleading squad is Kamea Cleaver, Gabriella Huntington, Anna Huntington, Mia Warner, Zenae Billings, Sadie Huntington, Cara Kopp, Tanaya Kriska, Lily Esmailka, Hayden Huntington, Haley Long, and Solomon Sage.