The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School

BVNWnews

Gracie Ross to cheer at KU

Senior Gracie Ross caps off her senior year by making the KU Cheer team. She was one of the sixteen selected from the 86 girls who tried out.

Photo Courtesy of Gracie Ross

Photo Courtesy of Gracie Ross

Walker Johnson, Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


After three days of tryouts, four rounds of cuts and seventy other girls being eliminated, senior Gracie Ross was one of sixteen girls selected to be a part of the 2017-2018 University of Kansas cheer team. Ross said she was only a part of the Blue Valley Northwest cheer team her freshman and senior year, however she has been cheerleading since before she was in kindergarten.

“I have done competitive cheer since I was three years old,” Ross said. “My neighbor cheered and we were friends when we were younger so our parents put us both in it.”

Ross said after so many years of cheerleading, it’s become a part of her daily life.

“I’ve just done it for so long, so it’s been all I’ve ever known,” Ross said. “It’s always just been part of my daily routine.”

After cheering for BVNW and competitively her freshman year, Ross said her competitive coaches didn’t want her to do both if she were to continue cheering competitively and this is why she elected not to cheer for the school her sophomore and junior years. However, Ross said that she decided to make a change her senior year.

“I wanted to have a more relaxed senior year,” Ross said. “I had gotten to the highest level [of competitive cheer]…I had practice five days a week, every week so it had gotten to be a lot.”

Although she was only a part of the varsity cheer team for one year, head coach Megen Geenens said she felt her role in preparing Ross for her tryout was giving her advice and continuing to push her to practice her tumbling and stunting.

“Honestly, she came to Northwest cheer extremely talented,” Geenens said. “I think our job was just to help her maintain her skills and encourage her to continue to improve.”

Ross said being a part of high school cheer was a very helpful experience for her, since it taught her aspects of cheerleading she would need to make the team at KU that she hadn’t fully learned through competitive cheer.

“It has taught me how to be ‘spirity’ and pump up the crowd and just cheer on and get a crowd excited,” Ross said. “Competitive cheer is just, you perform a routine and that’s it, but high school cheer taught me how to cheer for the team and be a big part of the school.”

All in all, Ross said the the tryout process was long and stressful. Tryouts started on Friday, Apr 25, with 86 girls and on the following Sunday, the 22 remaining girls participated in a final round of tryouts, open to the public. After this, 16 girls were selected, five of them being incoming freshmen.

Upon hearing the news, Geenens said she was very excited and happy for Ross.

“I was thrilled for her,” Geenens said. “It’s always so nerve-racking because high school cheer is different than college cheer…and I never really know what the college expectations. I wasn’t necessarily worried because she’s so talented, but I was still very relieved when I found out.”

Looking forward to next year, Ross said she is, overall, very excited. However, one thing she specifically looks forward to is cheering at KU basketball games because she’s heard from previous KU cheerleaders that it’s an amazing experience.

Ross said that she will be scheduled to cheer at all of the KU football games, as well as some of the basketball and volleyball games, since the courts aren’t large enough for the entire team.

Although moving on to the next level of cheerleading, Ross said she feels prepared since she has already experienced a rigorous training schedule due to competitive cheer.

“It’s going to be different because cheer has all their stuff in the morning,” Ross said. “We will have a practice at 5:30 in the morning and then a work out and then practice after that…I’ll have to be up really early, but it’s only three days a week, which is a lot less than I’m used to, but it’s twice today so that’ll be tiring.”

Geenens said that she hopes Ross making the KU cheer team will encourage graduating cheerleaders in the ensuing years to also tryout for college cheer teams.

“I hope [this inspires the cheer team],” Ross said. “We always try to push the girls to try cheering at a college level… so when they see Gracie doing it, I hope that encourages them to try when they get to college.”

Leave a Comment

We love hearing what our readers think! Let us know your opinions.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Gracie Ross to cheer at KU

    FEATURES

    A major musician

  • Gracie Ross to cheer at KU

    FEATURES

    Creating calligraphy

  • Gracie Ross to cheer at KU

    FEATURES

    Behind the mask

  • Gracie Ross to cheer at KU

    FEATURES

    Stohlmann’s success

  • Gracie Ross to cheer at KU

    FEATURES

    Highs and lows

  • Gracie Ross to cheer at KU

    FEATURES

    Expression through poetry

  • Gracie Ross to cheer at KU

    FEATURES

    Before they were subs

  • Gracie Ross to cheer at KU

    FEATURES

    Building bridges

  • Gracie Ross to cheer at KU

    FEATURES

    Dalal Essa

  • Gracie Ross to cheer at KU

    Activities

    A trifecta of events

The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School
Gracie Ross to cheer at KU