J.R. Tidwell/FCT Tharptown High School varsity cheerleaders Brianna Hester and BreAnna Taylor help lead a group of younger girls through the cheerleading camp, along with the help of other volunteers.

Archived Story

THS puts on cheer camp

Published 5:59am Saturday, July 28, 2012

THARPTOWN — Schools across Franklin County have been putting on camps in different sports for the area’s youth this summer.

Tharptown joined those ranks Friday morning, as the elementary and high schools banded together to put on a summer cheerleading camp for young girls.

Members of the current Tharptown High School varsity cheerleading squad were on hand to help instruct the kids, along with varsity cheerleading sponsor Tracey Fretwell.

“We’ve done a camp like this for five years now,” Fretwell said. “It’s good for the younger girls.

They have a chance to work with the older cheerleaders, and the older girls love it.

I think they have as much fun as the younger girls.”

The camp helps teach the young cheerleaders some basics of the sport, including tips on how to perform at the upcoming Tharptown youth football games.

“We teach them a dance, a few cheers, some tumbling and work on polishing their technique,” Fretwell said.

“We work on some stunting with the older girls.”

According to Fretwell, the camp benefits the varsity cheerleading squad just as much as the young girls who are participating in it.

“I think it teaches the girls responsibility,” she said.

“The younger kids look up to those girls, and it helps them to be accountable.”

Another benefit of having current squad members help with the camp is to give them a look at the other side of the sport from a coaching standpoint.

“I told them teaching is not as easy as it looks,” Fretwell said. “You can’t teach it if you don’t know it.”

One of the members of the varsity cheerleading squad on hand to help with the camp was rising senior Erica Valdez, who agreed with Fretwell in her assessment.

“It’s exciting to teach them what we know for their season,” she said.

“It’s hard to keep their attention, but they’re funny and fun to teach.”

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