LAURINBURG — The gymnasium floor at Scotland High School was filled with the county’s next generation of cheerleaders on Thursday. Girls, ages 5 to 12 years old gripped their red and blue pom poms, trying to wave to their family in the audience — but once the cheers started, they were all business.
The Little Scots followed the lead of the varsity cheerleaders throwing their arms into the air yelling, “One, we are the Scots, two, a little bit louder, three, I still can’t hear you four, more, more, more.”
Attendance at Scotland High School’s youth cheer camp doubled this year, with nearly 50 girls taking part in the four-day camp.
Coaches Mary Locklear and Jacqueline Kirk attributed the increased turnout to the Little Scots getting the opportunity to cheer during one quarter of the high school’s homecoming football game last year.
“I think it was because they saw the other little girls cheering last year at homecoming,” said Locklear. “The little girls come to Friday night football games to watch the cheerleaders. They are so excited. We told them we’re buying them bows that match the big girls, and they’ll get those at homecoming. I think they’re more excited for that than anything else.”
The campers learned five cheers and a dance routine to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”
After three days of practicing the girls put what they had learned on display and performed for their families on Thursday in the high school gym.
The camp was run by the varsity cheerleaders and senior captain Deijah McQueen, who called out each of the cheers for the younger girls from the stands during the showcase.
McQueen said leading her teammates and helping them teach the younger girls was a great experience.
“This week went good, the girls learned very quickly” she said. “Everyone got along good and we’re looking forward to having the little girls cheer with us during homecoming, it’s always a great time when they join us.”
Kirk and Locklear were impressed with how patient the varsity cheerleaders were with the younger girls.
“They had a ball,” said Kirk. “I was surprised how good the girls were with the little ones. I was proud of them.”
“This lets them give back to the community because these little girls look up to our cheerleaders,” said Locklear.
The Little Scots will join the varsity cheerleaders for one quarter during Scotland High’s homecoming football game on Oct. 26 against Lumberton.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]