Captains bring spark to MCHS football cheerleaders

By Theo Tate
Posted 9/16/21

When Montgomery County football cheerleading practice began on Aug. 9, Kim Clements didn’t have any trouble picking out captains for the team this fall.

The 11th-year coach selected senior …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Captains bring spark to MCHS football cheerleaders

Posted

When Montgomery County football cheerleading practice began on Aug. 9, Kim Clements didn’t have any trouble picking out captains for the team this fall.


The 11th-year coach selected senior Mackenzie Woods and sophomore Mara Inness to share captain duties for a team that has six returning cheerleaders from last year. Woods is back for her fourth season, while Inness is in her second year.


“Mackenzie and Mara are a fantastic balance,” Clements said. “Teenage girls can be a handful sometimes. They do an amazing job of working together and keeping everybody in a good mood and focused. They work so hard helping the girls with stunts and the crowd cheers and making sure they understand the rules and what you can and can’t do because MSHSAA is pretty strict on that kind of stuff.”


Besides Woods and Inness, seniors Hailie Dixon and Hannah McReaken and sophomores Jaylynn Zerr and Haley Duff are the other returning cheerleaders.


The Wildcats have 16 cheerleaders this fall. Seniors Clara Holmes and Shyenne Surls, junior Marina Ridenhour, sophomores Autumn Hunter and Peyton McGough and freshmen Gabrielle Arens, Mel Arens, Madi Bolin, Jenna Lalumondier and Serenity Shahan round out the team.


“I think we’ve been doing pretty great this year,” Woods said. “We’ve come a long way. We definitely have a lot of newer girls. We have quite a few freshmen and we have some who didn’t get a whole lot of experience last year because it was kind of crazy. So we definitely have a lot of new ones. They have been doing absolutely amazing.”


Clements said Woods was named captain because of her longtime experience in cheerleading. She started cheerleading when she was in middle school.


“She’s been part of our program for a really long time,” Clements said. “Her heart is all about cheering for the Wildcats. She is dependable and she’s reliable. I know I can count on her. If I need something done, I can ask Kenzie to do it.”


Woods said she first got interested in cheerleading when her sister was on the MCHS cheerleading team several years ago.


“I went to games when my sister was in middle school and high school and I started learning cheers when I was in third grade,” the senior said. “I went to all of the mini cheer camps. I said, ‘I can’t wait to be in high school. I can’t wait to be here on Friday nights.’ Since I was little, I wanted to do it.”


Inness joined the football cheerleading team last fall. She was one of five freshmen on the squad.


“I wanted to dance when I was little,” said Inness, who also was a member of the basketball cheerleading team last winter. “Then, I saw my cousins and they were doing crazy stuff. They were looking wonderful and I was like, ‘I’ve got to try this.’ I started it and I fell in love with it.”


Clements said Inness has a bright future with the cheerleading team.


“Mara is a little bit younger, so it was super important for me that not only Kenzie had somebody who could work really well with, but somebody who could step into the leadership role once Kenzie graduates and knows how practices are ran, how we stretch, how we condition and how we keep the squad peppy and upbeat,” Clements said.


Inness said she enjoys her new role as captain this fall.


“It is sometimes a little bit overwhelming, but I love how kind the girls are,” the sophomore said. “It’s an easy squad and they’re amazing.”

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here