If you come home one day from work or wake up to find your yard full of pink plastic flamingos, then you’ve been “flocked” by the Lake City High School varsity cheerleaders.
Coaching assistant Lynne Richmond came up with the idea after hearing about other squads back East flocking folks to raise money. You pay the LCHS team $30, and they will flock whomever you choose to amuse or annoy. In turn, the flockee must flock someone else to get rid of the 12-20 lawn ornaments adorning their yard, unless of course they enjoy having them there.
The cheerleaders are raising money to help recoup the $800 each girl has paid so far this year for uniforms and airfare and other expenses to attend the Universal Cheer Association camp in Boise. In addition to the flocking campaign, the cheerleaders also will get 100 percent of proceeds from tickets they sell for the Parker Toyota car raffle scheduled for Oct. 27 during half-time at the LCHS vs. Coeur d’Alene High School football game.
The money will also be used to pay for a choreographer to help the squad develop new routines so they can compete with other squads, said new cheerleading adviser and head coach Kelli Gabourie. LCHS cheerleaders last competed four years ago.
“We kind of need to start from scratch and have a professional whose area of expertise is competing, to teach the girls what they need to know for competing,” Gabourie said.
“If we compete and we show the community that we’re a big part of Lake City High School and we’re doing something for a purpose, hopefully we’ll get some more funding so the girls don’t have to spend so much time fund-raising,” she said.
There are three squads – freshman, junior varsity and varsity – and they’ll soon put together a competition squad consisting of the varsity cheerleaders and up to five members of the JV squad. Their first competition, the North Idaho Cheer Competition, will be held at Post Falls High School in January.
Cheerleading has come a long way in recent years. With moves such as the hitch pyramid, toe-touch basket toss, cradle, scorpion and Swedish Falls, it has become much more dangerous requiring athletic ability. Gabourie’s girls run and lift weights to condition themselves.
“The sport has developed beyond looking cute at a game,” said Gabourie. “They really do have school pride, and they really do want to do something to involve the community in what we’re doing.
“We are trying to start the tradition over, that we are a school that competes, and if we can make it this year for this one, this is a stepping stone that next year we can compete in the Universal Cheerleaders Association one (competition) at NIC, and hopefully make it a tradition that every year cheer squads go to state competitions.”
Varsity cheerleading captain Jordan Ramsey said that it’s nice when the community supports the cheerleaders.
“It’s a big responsibility,” Ramsey said. “We spend the most out of any other sport, because we’re the least funded, plus we’re year-round.”
The LCHS cheerleaders plan to continue the flamingo flocking until the snow flies. They will cheer through football and basketball seasons then begin practicing for the competition in Post Falls, so they will be very busy.
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