Chester High School cheerleading coaches, athletes and parents got together March 20 to honor the 2017-2018 CHS Yellow Jacket cheerleading squad.
Head Coach Rachel Marshall and assistant coach Michelle Rust organized the event which featured a potluck-style meal, program and presentation of awards.
The program began with coaches Marshall and Rust thanking all of the athletes, parents and other supporters for their many contributions and support throughout the long cheerleading year.
The cheerleading season is the longest of any other sport at most high schools. The cheer squad is actually active throughout most of the year with training, fundraising, conditioning, cheering, camps and competition season. The group stays busy on an ongoing basis most years.
The 2017-2018 cheer season began last April of 2017 with a "Glow Bingo" fundraiser. Open gym practices and planning sessions started in May of 2017. Throughout the entire summer of 2017 the athletes continued to condition and work very hard getting ready for the 2017 CHS football season which began in August of 2017.
Marshall said a new CHS loyalty or school song routine was designed and taught to all the cheerleaders and CHS Dance Team members which incorporated both squads together on the football field at once. This routine added a lot of spirit and "bling" to the 2017-2018 presentation.
Besides cheering at every CHS pep session, every football and basketball game, and at parades, the squad competed in several contests or competitive events in 2017-2018. At the Sesser Holiday Basketball Tournament the Chester High School Cheer Squad won 4th place At the 2018 Chester Invitational Tournament the YellowJacket Cheerleaders won the 1st Place Championship trophy.
To end the 2017-2018 cheer season the girls competed at several major cheerleading competitions and hosted their annual little kids cheer camp in late February. This year's event had a total of 110 little girls in attendance and they performed to a packed house at a varsity CHS basketball game.
Following a summary of the 2017-2018 cheer activities Coaches Marshall and Rust presented the annual cheer awards, beginning with certificates of participation and "C" letter awards to freshmen Melody Colonel, Lauren Soellner and Kennedy Herrell.
Certificates of participation, "pins" and "sophomore patches" were presented to sophomores Ashtyn Jany, Adeline Blechle, Elyzabeth Mitchell, Parker Knippa, Amira Al-Jassim, and Jessica Handel.
Junior cheerleaders Kamryn Wingerter and Cara Childs also earned Certificates of Participation and "pins". Finally, senior cheerleaders Karson Colvis, Ashley Hennrich, Allison Kennon, Emily Atchison, Kaylah Hasemeyer, and Faye Hathaway earned Certificates of Participation and "pins".
Major award winners were then introduced and honored. The 2017-2018 "Most Skilled" Cheerleader was senior Allison Kennon. Ashley Hennrich, a senior, earned the "Most Spirited" Cheerleading award and the "Most Improved" Cheerleader was freshman, Lauren Soellner.
"It has been a pleasure coaching these young ladies this year and for the past three years and I look forward to cheering them on in the years to come," Marshall said.