Empty bleachers, unmarked fields and masked practices are the new reality of JV and varsity teams throughout OTHS. It feels strange that chilly, fall Friday nights in Ottawa are not being accompanied by football games filled with spirited cheerleaders, booming band music and the dazzling performances from the poms.
Luckily for the poms, some performances and practices are still taking place. Every Thursday from 6-8 p.m., the girls practice sidelines choreographed by the juniors and seniors, school song, technique, and soon their competition routines as well. The team has gone from seeing each other almost every day for hours on end to only a day or two a week.
Despite this, seniors Cambri Horner and Colette Methling have been taking extra steps during practices to make things fun. “The memories we are making in this uncertain time are ones we will remember for the rest of our lives. The unique themes and activities for team bonding have set this year apart from the rest,” junior Maggie Stisser said.
Working through these uncertain times isn’t easy, “I think the hardest thing about coaching during Covid is seeing the emotional toll it takes on my girls. That’s why I’ve been trying to do whatever I can, whether it be team dinners, practices, or parent showcases, to give the girls some sense of normalcy and something to look forward to,” Coach Alaina Weatherford said.
Itching to perform, the team hosted their version of a senior night on Thursday, Oct. 22, to showcase what they’ve been working on since July. Even though it wasn’t the traditional senior night everyone had hoped for, “It was such a great night and lots of fun being able to perform in our uniforms.” said Horner ’21.
As the team moves into their competitive season, they have high hopes of claiming the 3A Jazz State Champion title for the third year in a row. Dancing to “Pushin’ On” by 2WEI and “Hallelujah” by Pentatonix, the team is ready to represent OTHS and bring home that hardware, whether competitions are virtual or in person.