YORK — Julie Comer and Ashley Terry, senior cheerleader captains at York Comprehensive High School, approach the 2013 football season with mixed emotions.
Both girls consider the role of cheerleader captain to be a privilege and a distinction, while admitting the senior experience can be sad. And both said that cheering for the first time for the Cougar football team as senior captains at Friday’s Bank of York scrimmage was bittersweet.
“It’s the last time we will cheer at the Bank of York game,” said Comer. “We won and that’s good.”
Terry echoed Comer’s sentiments, declaring: “It’s sad that we are beginning our final year as cheerleaders. The boys looked good against Union.”
The YCHS captains also said they are excited about Friday’s season opener against the Chester Cyclones. “Playing Chester at home is a perfect way to start the season,” said Comer.
Both Comer and Terry know a lot about the cheerleader experience. Both are fifth-year cheerleaders, who began cheering at the middle school level.
“I am excited about being chosen cheerleader captain my senior year,” said Terry. “It is an honor, but sad knowing it is my last year to cheer at YCHS.”
Terry said the cheerleaders, numbering 20 this season, had a busy summer of off-season preparations. “We had a lot going on, including cheerleader practices, camp and learning new dances,” she said.
Comer said the cheerleaders were able to dance to a recording of the music the YCHS band plays to prepare for the 2013 football season. She talked about the year-round commitment high school cheerleading requires.
“A lot of people don’t know how much we prepare in the offseason,” Comer said. “I worked in June and have been cheering and working since then.”
YCHS cheerleader coach Brandi Alexander lauded the cheerleaders for their commitment.
“We have another good group this year,” Alexander said. “They are working well together and have great attitudes. The kids are excited about a new season, especially having seven home football games.”
Alexander said the cheerleaders have worked hard to prepare for the home season opener Friday against Chester.
She said the cheerleaders will soon be shifting their focus to the Sept. 21 cheerleader clinic to at YCHS. The clinic is held for youngsters in grades K-6. Application forms are available at York District One schools.
Clinic participants will cheer alongside the varsity cheerleaders at the Cougars’ Sept. 20 game against Keenan as part of the York Parks and Recreation Department Cheerleader Night at the YCHS stadium.
“Our cheerleaders enjoy working with the kids during the clinic,” Alexander said.
The two senior captains said this is an exciting time in their lives.
“I am excited about the football team but I don’t want to leave YCHS,” said Comer. “It means so much to me.”
Comer and Terry said they are supportive of each other in their duties and expectations. “The only thing we disagree on is she’s a Clemson fan and I pull for the Gamecocks,” Terry said.