First person: Sideline supporter

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Clovis High junior Kelsie Schwartz first joined the cheerleading squad as a sophomore.

When a group of Clovis High cheerleaders was asked Thursday who was the best representative among the group, all indications pointed to junior Kelsie Schwartz.

The cheerleading crew, coached by B.J. Burnett, worked shifts throughout the holiday tournaments at Rock Staubus Gymnasium. Schwartz, in her second season as a cheerleader, was among the Thursday night crew.

Schwartz said being a less tenured member of the squad doesn’t hurt because it’s less about tenure than it is about effort. “Anybody can really pick it up if you’re willing to do it,” she said. “If you’re not dedicated, you’re not going to get it done.”

How it started: I had a friend who asked me to try out with her. I played soccer my ninth-grade year, then switched over to cheerleading my sophomore year, so it was a pretty big change.

More than games: We also go to a competition. We practice Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays after school for that from 3 to 5:45 p.m. It takes quite a bit of time. We go to outside competitions that also take time. All of these cheers we do throughout the game, everybody has to get them down. All of our dances, everybody has to get them down because we’re only as strong as our weakest person.

Best part: I like the friendships you make and the teamwork that goes into it.

I really like game cheerleading, cheerleading at football and basketball. We cheer even in volleyball and soccer, and we get to go to everything. It’s really cool to see everybody and what they’re involved in.

Highlight (so far): Going to competition last year. It was great to see everything come together. We’ve had difficulties over the past. People quit, and you have to change everything, and you have to go with what’s thrown at you. That’s the best part, when it all comes together.

— Compiled by CNJ staff writer Kevin Wilson