SMU Cheer Camp


2015/2016 JV and Varsity cheerleaders.

Gracie Long, Editor in Chief

Tompkins cheerleaders and Coaches Hanna Ward and Brita Johnson for the 2015/2016 school year attended the National Cheerleaders Association [NCA] cheer camp at Southern Methodist University mid-June. Normally the OTHS cheerleaders attend the cheer camp at the University of Central Arkansas, but this year was their first experience at the SMU camp. During their stay the cheerleaders experienced living in dorms, working with their new teammates and learning new skills and receiving advice to enhance the OTHS cheer team.

“The Tompkins cheerleaders got back from an amazing week at NCA camp,” Ward said. “The squads had an amazing time learning new cheers and chants for the upcoming school year.”

Growing from nine to 28 cheerleaders, varsity and original OTHS cheerleaders, senior Kaitlyn Reid and senior Chelsey Whitney welcomed the new members. With a trip to Six Flags and a long bus ride to Dallas there was ample opportunity for bonding. At the camp, instructors taught the team new stunts and cheers for pep rallies and performances.

“With this many girls it will allow us to spread school spirit to all grade levels,” Reid said. “I think all the girls on the team want to be the best that they can be.”

With much hard work and determination the OTHS cheer squad had a very successful time at the SMU camp. Honorable mentions at camp were given to the OTHS cheerleaders for squad jumps, stunts and tumbling. One varsity member and four junior varsity members received All- American. Trust and reliability play a huge role in cheerleading squads, each cheerleader must be in sync and trust their fellow cheerleaders to pull through and perform perfectly.

“Every teammate wants the best for one another, we are always encouraging each other to do our best,” Reid said. “It’s just a lot of good vibes.”

The cheerleaders traveled to Dallas a day early for team bonding at six flags and scavenger hunt was held that made the team work together. A team goal they have set for the upcoming year is to establish leaderships at Tompkins and make traditions that will last. The bonding exercises brought the team one step closer to becoming leaders. The camp trip created a new environment on the cheer squad and brought them closer together.

“I’m so used to having a small team from the past two years,” Whitney said. “It’s awesome having so many girl they all seem so motivated to make this year the best year ever.”

With the first appearance of Mr. T, the beloved OTHS mascot, students and faculty were buzzing with rumors of who was really in the Falcon suit. After a year of rotating the mystery person in the suit, junior Chad Machen was named the official OTHS mascot. According to Machen the cheerleaders treat him like one of their own. Machen attended the SMU camp as well and received an All- American award and was named NCA Top Mascots. Only two out of 20 mascots were given the Top Mascot award.

“My goals is to make sure everyone is having fun at football games, prep rallies, and other school events,” Machen said. “I want to spread the Falcon spirit.”