Published 8:32 AM on Thursday, November 17, 2022
A group of fourth grade girls competed this year as they represent Thompson Youth in the fourth grade Cheerleading competitions. (Contributed
Hayden Hicks received third place out of 18 girls at a most recent competition and was the recipient of the Destiny Riekeberg Award. (Contributed)
By EMILY REED | Special to the Reporter
ALABASTER – After competing in two major competitions this year, and placing in team and individual awards, the Thompson youth fourth grade cheerleading squad is gaining momentum.
“We’re really proud of all the work everyone has put in this year,” coach Jamie Hicks said. “This is our second year competing and we just keep growing and we hope to spread the word that we are here and bring the competitive side to recreational cheerleading.”
The group of fourth graders consists of 18 girls who train two days a week at Buck Creek Park in Alabaster.
The season runs from July to November, and this year included a competition in Springville and a competition in Gardendale with the North Jefferson Cheer Competition where the squad placed third out of seven teams competing.
Hayden Hicks placed third out of 18 girls, and was also the recipient of the Destiny Riekeberg Award, an achievement given in honor of the Pelham student who died in 2020 after a battle with a rare cancer.
“The award is really special because it is given by Destiny’s parents to a child who they feel embodies Destiny’s love of fun,” Hicks said. “It’s really special.”
Aubrey Andrews also received 4th place out of 18 in the recent competition in Gardendale.
Hicks said the team was excited for the opportunity to compete, and she anticipates more opportunities for competitions in 2023.
“I think the girls on the squad are just happy to bring the competitive side of things to recreational cheer,” Hicks said. “They’re kind of paving the way for the program and we have an amazing group of supportive parents who are behind it as well. We don’t really have anything like this in schools at the moment, and it’s important that girls are taught at a young age, so when they enters middle school and high school cheer, they can already be seasoned.”
Hicks hopes to garner more interest in the program, and envisions eventually adding a tryout to the next squad.
“The last two years we’ve had everyone who signed up for recreational cheer allowed to compete if they wanted to,” Hicks said. “I think for the future we will try and have some sort of trial for those who want to compete.”
Hicks said she hopes to have more teams competing from Thompson in the future including different grade levels.
Anyone interested in participating in upcoming seasons with the Cheerleading squad can register for Cheerleading through the Alabaster Parks and Recreation website, which is usually posted in April or May.
Further questions on the competition side can be directed to Hicks by contacting her at firstname.lastname@example.org.