The Lufkin High School cheerleaders typically go out of town for National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) cheer camp, but this summer NCA camp came to Lufkin.

LHS Cheer Coach Kirstie Russell said, “This allows the girls the opportunity to still have a wonderful camp experience even during this pandemic. ‘Home’ cheer camp was a tradition for LHS many years ago, and we are grateful to have the help of NCA, our LHS booster club, and Lufkin High School to be able to have our camp this year!”

To pay tribute to the tradition of having a “home” cheer camp, the gym is decorated using past cheer team photos and retired uniforms. Showcased in the photos are many of the LHS cheer coaches, parents, and friends who have once cheered for Lufkin High School.

Russell said, “It is neat to see the tradition continue with these 2020-21 teams!”

The teams — three high school and one middle school — will learn game-day material including cheers, chants, and band dances. The students will be evaluated throughout the course of the camp and have an opportunity to earn ribbons after each evaluation.

Russell said, “Our goal is to always earn the highest recognition, the BLUE SUPERIOR ribbon! In addition to learning new material to showcase at games and pep rallies, our athletes will also have the opportunity to receive a nomination for All-American Cheerleader. Athletes with superior motions, jumps, tumbling, and overall spirit are nominated to try out on the last day for All-American Recognition.”

Russell said she anticipates many of the LHS cheerleaders receiving nominations and having the opportunity to try out later this week. She also said that mascots are included in the camp and have their own NCA mascot instructor. Together, they learn how to create new, exciting skits and how to help the cheerleaders during game day and pep rally performances.

Russell said, “We love the opportunity to have our mascots participate in our performances! Oh, and don’t forget about Spirit sticks! Our teams are battling it out this week to determine ‘Who is the MOST spirited?’ Even with masks on, it is so inspiring to see our athletes filled with joy, yelling their newly learned cheers and trying to win a Spirit stick!”