Common Ground |

Common Ground

Bill Kight

When the Glenwood Springs High School Cheerleaders won the 4A State Championship in Denver last month, it was an especially sweet victory from my seat in the bleachers.

The fact that the Glenwood Cheer Squad is going to compete in Nationals Feb. 8 in Orlando, Fla., is icing on the cake. That is if we can raise enough money.

I know the hard work it takes for these young ladies to get this far, as well as knowing who has helped them along the way and who hasn’t.

Principal Mike Wells and assistant principal Sonya Hemmen have been very supportive, making sure the team’s needs are met. Being at the Denver Coliseum when the girls won State Championship shows how much they care.

Thank you both very much.

Some who should know better feel cheerleading is not a real sport. It doesn’t bring in money at the gate.

You’d have to be an alien from another planet to not recognize the athletic ability it takes to perform at such a championship level as the Glenwood cheerleaders. Not to mention the hard work, dedication, discipline, teamwork.

Their season starts earlier than any other team at Glenwood Springs High School and lasts longer. They support every team they cheer for . win or lose, rain or shine, hot or cold.

They have one of the highest grade-point averages of any Glenwood team, second only to the cross-country team.

They also pay for their own uniforms.

These cheerleaders represent this community when they travel to state, regional and national events. I can’t think of any better ambassadors.

More than a part of this community, they are our community. They are our future.

Individually, most of the Glenwood cheerleaders serve their community in many ways, too many to count. Key Club members, hospital volunteers, animal shelter helpers, role models to Youth Zone kids . to mention but a few.

The cheer squad has helped with Strawberry Days and this year will volunteer with the Valley View Health Fair and the MS walkathon.

Last year their help made others more aware of the disabling effects of MS as a disease and how we need to support each other and get involved in our community.

That’s really what this entire hullabaloo over Nationals is all about. Showing we care about our young people and are willing to help them make their dreams come true is powerful stuff.

The stress from this past summer was as hard on them as it was the rest of us. The Coal Seam Fire put a dent in their fund-raising efforts, but it didn’t dampen their spirits.

As these young people graduate they may or may not stay in our community. Regardless, they will hold in their heart enough memories and stories from this championship year to last a lifetime.

Just being around them infuses me with their youthful enthusiasm. God knows I need it.

And the award-winning gymnastic tumbling and stunts? Why, if I tried the easiest thing they do it would take me the rest of my life to get up from the floor.

It’s 6, and I promised to wake up Shandra early for a big school day as well as helping with a spaghetti dinner, silent auction and cheerleading our home basketball team to victory.

Show how much we value these young women. Make a check out to the Glenwood Springs High School. Their address is 1340 Pitkin Ave., Glenwood Springs, CO 81601.

Be sure to note it’s for the “State Champion Cheerleaders.”

Columnist Bill Kight is a Glenwood Springs resident.

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