New Cheerleading Squads Coming to Latrobe


Every Friday night at Latrobe Memorial Stadium, a squad of about twenty cheerleaders who give all their spirit and energy into cheering on the football team and pepping up the crowd. During the winter season, you can find the squad spending time cheering at basketball games, hockey games, and wrestling matches, which accumulate to approximately 6 hours a week. The cheerleaders’ schedule is always packed and yet they still find a way to maintain good grades and a social life.

The cheerleading squad has always run as a separate varsity and junior varsity squad, but not for the upcoming 2016-2017 season. New members of the GLHS cheerleading program are going to have to adapt to the major changes imminent for next school year.

In the past, the squads have been split up by grades. Junior varsity was made of cheerleaders in grades nine and ten. The varsity squad had cheerleaders in grades ten through twelve. If a sophomore had a high enough score by perfecting the fast paced dance, complicated cheer, and crowd moving chant taught at the tryout clinic, they could earn a varsity position.

Next year’s cheerleading squads will be merged into one. Varsity and junior high will be the only two squads. The varsity squad will now be made up of 40 girls. The plan for the squad is to split up into two different squads, the orange and black squad, during football games and cheer on opposite ends of the field. During basketball games and wrestling matches, the same thing will occur.

This year’s tryouts were extra special for upcoming senior Ashley Goblinger. Being her last tryout, she had to make it count. Each candidate had to work long and hard to prepare for tryouts which took place on Saturday, February 27.

Goblinger focused and cheered her hardest to be the best she could in front of the judges. “To get ready for tryouts, I went to the tryout clinics which took place Tuesday through Friday. I learned the material and ran with it. I practiced in the shower, saying the words to the cheer and chant and then would randomly just start doing the dance and motions throughout the day,” said Goblinger.

She has been cheering since she was little. “When I was little and on GLAMFA, it was my first year and practices were at some building and my mom had no idea where it was so we ended up getting lost and I bawled my eyes out because I thought I wouldn’t be able to cheer,” said Goblinger.

When she first decided to become a cheerleader, she had to learn what it took to be one. “A cheerleader is someone who is up for a challenge. Someone who is determined, outgoing and friendly,” said Goblinger.

When she first started cheerleading, she made many memories. Throughout all of her years cheering she remembers her first memory. “Meeting my lifelong cheer friends Maddie Swiger and Tyler Bryant at my first GLAMFA practice… Maddie thought I was weird,” said Goblinger. Having a friendship that has lasted throughout their cheerleading careers really helped with preparing for tryouts.

Reviewing the routine and cheers with close friends is always beneficial because close friends aren’t afraid to say what needs fixed. “I always used to be nervous trying out for cheerleading but last year I thought, why be nervous? So now I just go in with a positive attitude,” said Goblinger.

An abundance of emotions are radiating from the cheerleaders since the program is taking a new route. “At first, I didn’t think the squad was a good idea. I didn’t think it would work or anything because of the crazy amount of girls. However, now that I have thought about it long and hard, I realized that yes, this will be a challenge because of the amount of girls, but yes we will get through it.”

Being an upcoming senior gives Ashley a new amount of responsibility. The seniors are responsible for teaching the younger and new girls game material. The numerous band dances the cheerleader perform every game and the pages upon pages of cheers, the squad will have a long season ahead of them with a few new girls on the squad. “The way I look at it now is that we have 40 some girls, that’s a lot. If everyone pulls their weight then we can make it work, we always do. I hope since we have a lot of girls now, we can accomplish more things,” said Goblinger.

Wearing a Latrobe cheerleading uniform comes with responsibilities and dedication. With more cheerleaders comes more spirit and more changes. The upcoming season will be filled with hard-work and determination to make the new squad changes be as successful as they can.