ROANOKE, Va. – When you think of competition cheerleading in the Roanoke Valley, Cave Spring certainly comes to mind. But earlier this year, the Roanoke County school board voted that fall sports could only play within the county, eliminating a competition season for the Knights.
“It really made us realize that every day, take advantage of it, because it can be taken away at any moment,” senior Lily Fox said.
The decision was made before cheerleaders were even allowed to be on the sidelines at games, so head coach Jen Koll knew what had to be done for her girls to have a season.
“Other Roanoke county cheer coaches joined in and we realized this could mean potentially no post season for us,” Koll said. “We decided to take the next step and fight for our kids to have an equal shot.”
Nearly a month after the decision was reversed, Cave Spring has already placed first in their first of three River Ridge District Invitationals.
“So especially for us, it’s taking a lot of preparation, and speeding up that season which we normally have a lot more time, so we’ve been working hard and taking advantage of every moment,” Fox added.
And to be in compliance with the changing landscape of COVID-19, there are also plenty of changes to what is being judged in the competitions, including no pyramids, with those points being added to separate group stunts.
“We considered how we were going to tackle our routine, we just thought what our strengths and we worked on those the best we could,” Koll said.
“It’s definitely just perfecting the routine and working hard to clean it up, because there aren’t those difficult skills we can normally do,” Fox said.
But ultimately, the team is excited to be back on the mat, and after the community has had, everyone needs a little cheer in their life.