Something to cheer about

By Michael Harrell: PNT Staff Writer

The new Portales High School cheerleading team has chosen manual labor as a fundraiser this year in hopes to afford the much-needed equipment they say they lack. Their plan is to find businesses in the area that are willing to hire the girls to work for donations.

On Wednesday, four of the six girls on the squad worked several odd jobs at Craig Hughes Trailer & RV Center. They worked six hours in the heat of the day cleaning, re-organizing storage and moving equipment for the company. The work earned them a $300 donation.

Barbara Isaacs, the team’s new coach, said the money they acquire will be used to pay for equipment such as props, sweats and some travel expenses, assets the team must supply themselves.

“It was a lot of work,” said cheerleader Paige Valentine. The girls agreed the day was rigorous, but they found ways to make it fun.

“We were all joking around with each other and laughing,” Kanyesha Stone, another cheerleader, said. The girls said they are becoming close friends, something that will benefit teamwork within the squad.

“The girls seem to be bonding together, and that’s where I have to keep the focus,” Isaacs said.

She said the team will be starting fresh. It is made of five new members and one returning member. Isaacs said because of the inexperience of the new girls, they will only work on cheers and uplifting school spirit the first year to build up a solid reputation.

“They have to prove themselves this year that they can be a successful team,” Isaacs said. “They will make it through a year the best they can and bring spirit to encourage more so in the school.”

The team is already scheduled to work two more day jobs, one at Woody’s Jewelry and another helping Udderly Clean wash dairy towels. They team plan to find more work for them to do around the community before school begins.

“The school provides transportation, meal money for traveling and a new uniform every four years for the cheerleading team,” PHS Athletics Director Don Gomez said. The team is due for a new uniform in two years.

The squad also plans to host a school dance and a booth at the fair to raise more funds in the future.