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Amanda Lira

On Friday, May 24 junior Amanda Azurduy rehearses her routine before auditioning in front of the judges to become part of the 2013-2014 cheer team. The upcoming cheerleaders learned routines from May 20-23 and showed their potential to judges on May 24.

Sara Cabrera, Writer/ Copy Editor

After a long week of practicing a cheer and a routine, on Friday, May 24, 117 girls gathered outside the gymnasium, waiting nervously for their turn to show off their skills in front of the judges, hoping to soon be a member of Downey’s 2013-2014 cheer team.

The first day of practice, Coach Connor Huber separated the girls into 2 groups, one on the field learning their cheer and stunt, and the other in the dance room learning the routine.

“I know we’re throwing a lot of material at you the first day, but were trying to make it as fair as possible so you know it and practice it when you go home,” Connor said. “Don’t feel overwhelmed and not come back tomorrow, because I promise you will feel better about this by Wednesday.”

Cracking under pressure, the day of mock tryouts, only 5 girls had not returned. Mock tryouts, which were held in the wrestling room, gave these potential cheerleaders the opportunity to get a feel of how the real tryouts would be. They were judged by the 10 graduating seniors, along with the cheer coaches watching.

“The mock tryouts were pretty nerve wrecking, but it really helped because now I know what to expect the day of tryouts,” junior Amanda Azurduy said.

On Friday, the tryouts began at 4:00 p.m. and lasted until 7:00 p.m. It took the judges and coaches roughly an hour and a half to tally up the scores and determine who made the cut. At around 8:30, the girls screamed anxiously when seeing the seniors and coaches exit the dance room with multiple posters. Beginning with the junior varsity squad, the posters with each girls’ name on them were released as the coaches announced the new members of the team.

“It was hard to choose,” Patterson said. “There was so much competition, and I can honestly say this is the biggest team we’ve ever taken.”

After Coach Patterson took 40 girls on the junior varsity team, the coaches announced the 25 names of the new varsity cheerleaders. Those who were on the team, made their way upstairs to the dance room to celebrate and received a shirt with the phrase, “I made DHS cheer 2013-2014”.

Although some girls went home devastated, this gave them the motivation to begin practicing earlier to join the strong team, hopefully making the cut at next year’s tryouts.