The Saugus High School Cheer Team is accustomed to putting in long hours every weekend practicing their jumps, tumbles and dances; but on Sunday, the squad welcomed a group of over 120 young guests to learn alongside them.
Elementary and junior high school girls from around the Santa Clarita Valley congregated in the Saugus High School gym to participate in the squad’s annual clinic, which serves as a major fundraising and community service event for the team.
The girls learned cheers and dance routines from current members of Saugus squad, said head coach Candace Rogers. During the halftime performance at the October 12 Saugus football game, the girls who participated in the clinic will be invited onto the field to perform a routine with the varsity cheer squad.
The clinic was one of many community outreach events promoted by the program.
“We try to get out there and let everyone know that Saugus cheer wants to help out the community,” said Saugus Cheer Community Service Chair Nannette Schneider.
Members of the cheer squad were instructed to print flyers which advertised the event and to distribute them at schools around the valley. The result was a cross section of over 120 girls from many different elementary or junior high schools who attended the clinic, said Schneider.
The event has become a long standing tradition for the program.
“Now they’re cheerleaders today,” said Schneider, describing many of alumnae of the clinic.
For Coach Candace Rogers, the clinic helped set the tone for the rest of the team’s season.
“We’re a competitive cheer team so it helps to be able to run our program,” she said.
The varsity cheer team expects to compete in numerous competitions across Southern California – for which the squad will have to raise money for busses and entry fees. The pinnacle of their season will be Spirit Nationals at the Anaheim Convention Center in February.
The squad is slated to participate in fundraising events at the Santa Clarita Marathon as well as at a golf tournament in Fillmore in November; but for many members of the organization, the cheer clinic is the highlight.
“A lot of the girls know about it and look forward to it,” said Schneider.