Faith Academy second-grader Illiana Gonzalez threw her hands into a high-V as she jumped into a toe touch.
“The arts and crafts was my favorite part,” said Illiana, 7. “I painted mine with different colors.”
Illiana was one of about 25 prekindergarten through sixth-grade students who cheered and danced Saturday at the Faith Academy Little Cougar Cheer Camp at the gymnasium at the Mockingbird campus.
Homeschool student Brooke Petrash, who came to the camp for some summer fun, said her favorite part of the camp was the stretches and workout.
“I made new friends,” said Brooke, 7.
Stephanie Petrash-Ross, the cheer coach, shouted “hey, girl, hey!” into the microphone followed by the voices of the campers as they raised their spirits for a day of cheer.
The camp is cheerleader-led to teach her squad leadership and responsibility, Petrash-Ross said. In addition, the cheerleaders serve as role models.
The cheer camp was part of the kickoff to the school’s football season after the program was created last year, said Petrash-Ross.
Spirit is on the rise at the school as the cheer team has grown, she said about decorating the school lockers and having pep rallies and homecoming.
Petrash-Ross plans to have another cheer camp in the spring to focus on basketball cheers and chants, she said. People who are interested can email Petrash-Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Faith Academy’s Facebook page.
The cheer team has nine cheerleaders and one mascot. Faith Academy freshman Carissa Barron is the team captain.
More campers participated at the camp this year than last year, she said.
“It’s so much fun,” said Carissa, 14, about the team leading the camp.
Although it’s her first time being team captain, Carissa said she is excited for what another football season will bring.
“This year, we’re helping everyone get hyped up,” she said.