|(photos by Jim Lindquist)|
At the same time, another group of hard-working athletes, the Tiger cheer squad, has been supplying a healthy dose of spirit that helps light up Friday nights during the fall season.
All in all, 42 Tigers participate on the varsity and junior varsity football cheer squads. All of them earned their stripes by taking part in official tryouts last May. They began captain's practices in June and in August started their preparation work for the fall season.
This year's varsity squad is led by its four captains: Ashley Fogarty, Morgan Elliott, Cassidy Jelen and Mollie Meyers.
The junior varsity cheer team consists of Brianna Hodgekins, Caitlin Schmitt, Caylin Dunley, Hannah Adams, Hope Hartwick, Jenny Stenholm, Karina Jakubczak, KeliAnn Gutierrez, Lindsay Foster, London Mumford, Megan Meyers, Morgan Rubin, Sara Zweber, Shaina Godette, Shayla Thraen, Taylor Anderson, Tori Doheny, Vanessa Thraen and mascots Aislinn Tietz, Austin House and Jena Lipham.
Like the football players, the cheer team practices daily for an hour and 45 minutes under the direction of coach Nancy Stein. On Wednesdays the Tigers have a special practice with the Farmington adaptive cheer team called the "Sparklers".
"Our goals are to work together as a team and promote school and community spirit and sportsmanship," Stein said.
To that end the girls take part in a wide variety of away-from-the-sidelines activities, such as painting business windows for homecoming; building a float for the homecoming parade; conducting a clinic for elementary school students; serving at the annual veterans' dinner at the high school; participating in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life; taking part in the city park clean-up and performing at elementary and middle school pep fests.
Stein also notes that the cheer program provides spirit for boys and girls basketball and wrestling during the winter season. Registration for those squads begin October 22 with the program open to all FHS students in grades nine through 12.