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Chelsea Stone was a part of Grant County’s marching band for five years, but her senior year, she wanted to do something different.
Stone decided to join Grant County’s cheerleadering squad and made the most of her time on the mat, earning a spot on the junior varsity and competing with the girls.
“Karla Noel, Keshia Crabtree and Chelsey Popp are all seniors with me and I’ve grown up with them,” Stone said. “I have classes with them and they always talked about cheerleading. They made it sound like fun, so it seemed like a good group of people to hang with.”
Stone came into the program thinking that cheerleading wasn’t going to be a challenge, but quickly learned the time and energy that goes into building a competitive squad.
“I really didn’t see the hard work that went into it, so I thought it would be easy,” Stone said. “It was a lot of fun, but I actually had to put a lot of hard work into it. Junior varsity ran our routine five times a day. We had to learn it section by section and it was hard to comprehend a lot in a short amount of time.”
Stone had to battle nerves the first time she competed with the team, but enjoyed the opportunity when she was chosen to be a base during competitions.
“It was scary to step in as a senior that has never done it before,” Stone said. “I was nervous that I would mess up, but it was a lot of fun to be around the girls and do something new. Being in the uniform and doing the routine was an awesome experience.”
“I wish Chelsea would have cheered all four years,” coach Melissa Ryan said. “She’s one of the rare girls that get it. She naturally picked things up and I wish I would have had a team full of her. She was great to have and I’m sad that she’s leaving.”
Stone wishes that she could have started before her final year in high school, but is glad that she joined cheerleading and made the most of her senior year.
“I’m going to take away the memories,” Stone said. “The experience that I had with them is something that I’ll never forget. Our coaches pushed us to our limits and made me go beyond what I could do. It was awesome. I’ve only been cheering for four months, but it’s probably the most fun I’ve had in high school. I wish I could have done it longer.”
Stone’s favorite memories of this year were the squad’s fun practice and rooming with the other seniors during their trip to the state competition.
“My favorite time was at state,” Stone said. “I don’t have many memories, but rooming with the other seniors was fun. We took the stupidest pictures we could take and laughed. We rode the glass elevator up and down. We stunted in the pool. The whole trip was fun. I will never forget it.”
For girls who are thinking about joining the cheerleading program, Stone encourages them to make the most of their time in high school.
“I would definitely encourage people to do it because it was a fun time, but if you have the opportunity to start before senior year, then I would do it,” Stone said. “If it is your senior year, do it. Go out and have fun, because this is the most fun thing I’ve done during school. Being around everyone was great. There was never a dull moment.”