Cheer squad boosts Hawks at every game this spring

By HALEY OKTOYAK, staff writer

The Galena cheer squad. (Photo by Paul Apfelbeck)

Ms. Martinez and the cheer squad will be performing at all hometown games throughout the spring semester.

The squad is also hoping to do a halftime performance during the games on the Feb. 21 and 22, said coach Martinez.

This year has more elementary students instead of high school students, and more participants, which is a challenge, she said.

Transitioning from high school to elementary school has brought with it a different mindset. 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.”

Ms. Martinez, who is a high school social studies teacher, was a cheerleader in her high school year and is the cheerleading coach here in Galena this year.

This year’s cheerleading squad includes 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, with ages ranging from elementary students to the twelfth grade. The cheer squad students stretch, tumble and do flips, jumps and some stunts along the way as an exercise. The squad does some 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.