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Showing a 'Lil' school spirit

A total of 35 elementary girls participated in the Lil Royals Cheer Clinic held Oct. 13. The Lil Royals Cheer Clinic culminated in a pep rally for parents.3 / 3

Woodbury High School's gym was alive Oct. 13 with three dozen little cheerleaders in training during the school's annual Lil Royals Cheer Clinic.

During the clinic, 35 girls, kindergarten through fifth grade, learned a variety of cheers in three hours, with the help of their high school cheerleader.

"Each girl is paired up with a cheerleader, so each little girl is made to feel special," WHS cheerleading coach Tami Stauffacher said. WHS senior and cheerleading captain Brooke Braaten said teaching the Lil Royals how to cheer is a lot of fun and really rewarding.

"It's a little crazy sometimes, but it's awesome to show them something that they can potentially be since they look up to you and want to be like you," she said. "We're giving them an experience of high school."

Braaten and Stauffacher said teaching the cheers to the girls can sometimes be challenging since they don't pick things up as quickly as the high school girls.

"We really have to break it down for them a lot, which is something we're not really used to doing," Braaten said.

Stauffacher said it's fun to see the difference between the age groups.

"For kindergarteners, it's smile along, jump along," she said. "The fourth and fifth grade girls sometimes get pretty intense because they're here to learn - they want to learn those cheers and they want to get them perfect.

"You can usually tell the ones who are serious and want to be a cheerleader when they grow up."

The clinic culminated with a pep rally for parents complete with the WHS marching band, the WHS mascot Roar and several cheers and a dance.

Additionally the Lil Royals performed between the first and second quarters during the WHS football game on Friday.

"They're doing something they see someone older doing," Stauffacher said. "So they get to kind of play grown up."

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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