The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


Gables’ 2024-2025 Cheerleading Tryouts Highlight a New Sense of Spirit

Matthew Castano
During Gables’ 2024-2025 cheer tryouts, seasoned cheerleaders helped teach the dance choreography to newcomers.

Seen at sports games and pep rallies to show support and Cavalier pride, the Coral Gables Senior High cheer team’s senior cheerleaders and their sponsor, Mrs. Noval, looked for students who would fit into the spirit of the team in an annual recruitment effort. The cheer team hosted their tryouts for the 2024-2025 school year from March 4 to March 6 at the outdoor basketball courts. The tryouts were meant to be both physically and mentally challenging, testing each candidate’s technique, spirit, energy and attitude.

“This was my last time trying out for the Gables team and it was very bittersweet. As an experienced cheerleader, I viewed tryouts as a waste of time because I already learn so quickly, however, I enjoyed seeing the new girls try out. I always love day one of tryouts the most because everyone is excited and I get to meet the potential new members. I loved being able to help the candidates by giving them tips and tricks because I know trying out for cheer can be a bit overwhelming,” junior Melissa Hernandez said.

Senior and current co-captain Carolina Martinez taught the dance choreography to the candidates at cheer tryouts. (Matthew Castano)

On the first day of cheerleading tryouts, the senior cheerleaders and candidates gathered around the outdoor basketball courts and prepared for the check-in process, which was the first step to beginning the tryout. To complete the check-in, the candidates had to turn in their completed cheer application and then they received a pin with their designated number on it.

Once the check-in process was completed, the senior cheerleaders began by leading the candidates through 25 jumping jacks and a deep stretching routine to ensure everyone was properly warmed up before beginning the team tryouts. 

“My experience at tryouts was different than the rest. It was my third and last time trying out for the cheer team. I was definitely more comfortable and less nervous than the previous times. It was so fun meeting all the potential new cheerleaders,” junior Samira Martinez said.

After the warm-up, senior cheerleaders proceeded to teach the candidates the classic cheer jumps, which included a toe touch, a right hurdler, a left hurdler and a pike jump. The seniors then taught a 5 eight-count choreography that required a big smile and technique. This included having straight arms and hitting the moves on time to ensure the choreography looked clean. 

Students trying out for the 2024-2025 cheer team showed big smiles during practice, an energy they would have to recreate during sports games. (Matthew Castano)

On the second day of tryouts, the candidates were again taken through the same warm-up stretching routine. They proceeded by reviewing the choreography in two groups of about 20 candidates to enable the six senior cheerleaders to focus on everyone’s technique.

The second day of evaluation included the teaching of a short cheer routine, which was expected to include high volume and energy. The cheer was a classic football game chant stating, “Touchdown, let’s go, let’s fight. Touchdown, let’s win tonight” to highlight Gables’ pride in their athletics. 

“My experience at tryouts was extremely fun, I had the opportunity to help many of the people trying out. I enjoyed learning and developing as a cheerleader over this past year,” sophomore Suzana Moss said.

During the third and final day of tryouts, the candidates were divided into even groups of four based on the numbers they were assigned on the first day. They were then required to perform everything they learned the previous two days to test their execution and memory. Judges evaluated spirit, memory and technique, aside from any additional skills candidates had, including a cartwheel or a back handspring.

“I really loved seeing new girls try out. As a two-year member of the team, it’s really nice to see people go out of their comfort zones and get into the feeling of what it’s like to be a cheerleader. I’m most excited about new stunts we’re going to learn, especially with the new girls and all their potential to create great, new stunt groups with us,” sophomore Gabriella Arango said.

The following day, on March 7, the accepted candidates for the 2024-2025 cheerleading team were announced. Special positions, such as new captain, co-captains and Spirit Officers were also revealed.  

“I was in the middle of an assignment when my current cheer captains walked in and said they’d like to announce the 2024-2025 new cheer co-captain. I was so surprised and shocked but also so happy,” junior Samira Martinez said.

The senior cheerleaders walked into the classes of the accepted candidates and handed them a paper megaphone that displayed their name and the title “Cheerleader 2024-2025 CGHS,” and were required to either perform the choreography or cheer they learned during tryouts in front of the class. They also presented them with the cheerleading team constitution, which includes the rules they are required to abide by during game days, bus rides, practices and performances. 

Divided into groups, students got a direct lesson of the dance choreography from the cheer captains. (Matthew Castano)

“Given that I’m a rising senior and this is my last year on the team, I’m super excited for all the senior events we have like senior night and our senior pep rally. I’m looking forward to training all the new girls and really getting to know everyone,” junior Martinez said.

With the 2024-2025 cheer team announced, the team is already starting their adventure. Practice for the new team begins on Monday, March 9. The newly accepted cheerleaders will get caught up on cheers, learn how to do stunts and have fittings for cheer attire. The new 2024-2025 cheer team will first be seen at the first spring pre-season football game in May.

“Something I am most excited for this new season is to be captain and having the opportunity to better the team. I want to not only improve the team but also grow with all of them,” junior Hernandez said.

2024-2025 Cheer Captains and Officers
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About the Contributors
Elyse Harris
Elyse Harris, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Elyse Harris is currently a sophomore in the International Baccalaureate program at Coral Gables Senior High. This is her first year in CavsConnect, and she is thrilled to start her journey in the publication, hoping to improve her writing skills. She enjoys writing poetry, going to the beach, hanging out with friends and you will always catch her listening to music. As someone who is very academically focused, she hopes to become a doctor and participate in medical research in the future. Still, Elyse tries to always keep a balance between school and her social life. During this school year, she is excited to learn new things and is prepared for anything she may encounter.
Matthew Castano
Matthew Castano, CavsTV Staff
Meet Matthew Castano, a talented junior in high school who serves on the boards of FEA, FBLA, and AOF. With a passion for videography and photography, Matthew uses his creativity to capture vivid moments and bring ideas to life. He is dedicated to excellence in all his endeavors and strives to make an impact on those around him. Don't be surprised if you see Matthew behind the camera or leading a club meeting - he is a natural leader with a heart for service.
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