This year, the Lebanon High School cheer squad welcomes a new head coach, Melinda (Mindy) Spaulding. She will be joining Tonya Douglass, Lebanon’s JV coach.

The JV Squad:

  • Addison Ehrie
  • Ann Marie Susong
  • Brooklyn Kincade
  • Chloe Maciel
  • Chloey Lopez
  • Dilynn Shockley
  • Emma Bailey
  • Kailyn Spanhook
  • Katie Smith
  • Kayleigh Barnard
  • Kinsey Bruder
  • Leah Bashor
  • Nevaeh Phillips
  • Rayna Phillips
  • River Williams
  • Sydney Lockwood

 

The Varsity Squad:

  • Abi McKibben
  • Becca Douglass
  • Clara McQueen
  • Erynn Smith
  • Emma Patterson
  • Isabelle Echeverria
  • Ivy Strahm
  • Jazlyn Gramlin
  • Jocelyn Kernodle
  • Kaitlyn Stoops
  • Kenzie Fouts
  • Lauren Couger
  • Logan Harrington
  • Macey Kenna
  • Madison Stofer
  • Mya Folden
  • Sydnie Stevenson
  • Taylor Moss

Spaulding is extremely excited to coach this year because she graduated from Lebanon High School and thought it would be great to coach where she grew up.  This is only her second year coaching cheerleading, with coaching Lebanon Middle School’s 8thgrade cheer squad the previous year.

Spaulding was a cheerleader at Lebanon from 5thgrade to graduating high school.  As a sophomore, she got the opportunity to cheer on Varsity for the first time, which was very rare during this time. There was only five girls and five boys on Varsity during that time.

“My biggest hope is for the girls to learn something.  As far as learning goes, I am hoping they learn stunts safely and without injuries,” said Spaulding.

She plans on focusing on safety a lot this year.  This includes the addition of a front spot, which stands in front of the stunt and helps the bases lift the flyer.  She also is going to try to keep people in the same groups to increase the trust, safety and strength of that group.  Yes, groups will move around in the beginning, but that is just to see who works best together.

Another thing she plans to do is teach the cheerleaders on being more versatile by teaching them how to do multiple positions in a stunt to understand what other parts feel like. These positions include the back spot, flyer, front spot, main base and secondary base.  She says she will not let the cheerleaders learn a different position until they have mastered the one they tried out with.  This helps to prevent injuries from people not knowing what to do.

She also plans on following the ISHAA safety guidelines, the UCA guidelines and NCA guidelines, whatever the best practice may be.  Spaulding did not like seeing so many girls sitting on the benches last year, due to injuries.  This year, she plans on finding the culprit to why there were so many injuries last year and what we can do to prevent it from ever happening again.

“I look forward to meeting with the seniors because I want to get their input.  They were here last year, I was not.  I know the previous coachsaid she is looking forward to see what we can do to take the team from where she took them, to better the squad.  I will be asking the seniors what they want to do with the squad and from there and we can mold what we are going to do with the team.  I think it is always important to think about how they want their year to look like,” said Spaulding.

This year, Spaulding plans on rewarding those who do well and improve greatly.  This means, around mid-season she will take a look at the squads and see if anyone has the chance on moving up to Varsity from JV.  This will take lots of hard work from the athlete and coach will need to see how much that cheerleader has improved.  This does not guarantee people to be moved up, but they will have the chance to be.

The numbers have a possibility to change.  The numbers are only set for football season.  It will be basketball season for the returning cheerleaders to have the chance of moving up squads.  Coach Douglass and coach Spaulding will sit back down before basketball season to discuss the placements of the girls and how the numbers are going to change.

The size of the squads for tryouts were not the same as what they are now.  All coaches agreed upon looking at how the scores fell before drawing the line between Varsity and JV.  This gives girls who fell really close to being Varsity, yet deserves Varsity, the chance of becoming a Varsity cheerleader.

“I think the seniors will be able to mentor the underclassmen and have the opportunity to step up and become a leader.   I would like to see the underclassmen becoming a leader too and creating a good reputation for LHS,” said Spaulding.

Incoming senior, Macey Kenna is excited to return to cheerleading at the high school for her final season.  Kenna has cheered for Lebanon for a total of five years.  She has made Varsity for her senior year and will be basing this upcoming football and basketball seasons.

“I am looking forward to spending my senior year with my closest friends, doing what I love the most,” said Kenna.

Incoming senior, Erynn Smith agrees with Kenna and is looking forward to her senior year.  She has also been cheering for Lebanon for a total of five years.  Smith made Varsity and will be flying and tumbling for the tigers these upcoming seasons.

“I am looking forward to getting close with all of the underclassmen and everyone in general.  I feel this group of seniors is going to be the closest yet and I cannot wait for this season,” said Smith.

Lebanon’s cheer program is going through some major changes with the addition of the new coach, Mindy Spaulding.  Do not forget to look for the tiger cheerleaders this year at the upcoming football and basketball games!