Senior Spotlight: Joslyn Banta

By Hannah Huber

Joslyn Banta is a girl on the go. She is involved in various activities inside and outside of school that have made her four years busy and exciting.

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Joslyn and her parents before prom 2018.

For 10 years now, Joslyn has been a Mustang cheerleader, and for four years, she has been a varsity cheerleader. Joslyn is a main base, tumbler, and a huge asset to the team. She has received the academic athlete award and a varsity letter three( and soon to be four) years in a row.

When asked what her favorite memory as a cheerleader was, she responded, ¨Probably whenever we came to the high school as eighth graders, who had just made the varsity team, to help with Special Olympics with our new high school team.΅

Joslyn (third from left) and 4 other senior cheerleaders.

Other than cheerleading, Joslyn also helps teach a tumbling class to younger kids, participates in FFA, International Club, and is an NHS officer as well as a Character Ed leader. She does all this while taking multiple advanced classes. With such a busy schedule, Joslyn doesn´t have much time for anything else other than watching Youtube and sleeping.

Joslyn´s favorite year of high school was freshman year because of the people she spent it with and her overall experience. But this year, she is looking forward to prom and especially graduation. After high school, she plans to attend Mizzou and participate in the journalism program, pursuing a career in that field. While attending Mizzou, Joslyn hopes to also continue her cheerleading career.

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Joslyn at her future college.

Stunting Their Way To State

By Cylee Drake

Our cheerleaders here at MCHS seem to be underrated. They are always there to cheer on our boys and girls in football and basketball, but no one seems to be cheering them on. Well now is the chance. Our cheer team will be going to Cheer State 2018-2019, and they would love to have everyone’s support. Last year at state, our cheer team took second place, arguably they deserved first, but it is a new year and their eyes are set on first place.

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Football Homecoming 2018

MCHS’s current varsity cheer team is composed of 10 seniors Bailey Barrett, Brookelynn Cooper, Caitlynn Stouder, Dylan Akins, Elliott Wolfe, John Gordon, Joslyn Banta, Kitrell Henighen, Madison Smith, and Tanner Harnar and seven juniors Demi Meador, Lilly Parnell, Maggie Amey, Paige Newhard, Ryan King, Sam Whitehill, and Tristan Hands. They are all coached by Natassi Banta, former MCHS cheerleader and graduate.

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Cassville High School cheerleaders and MCHS cheerleaders (2017)

Brookelyn Cooper stated, “Last year’s state experience was very thrilling, but a little upsetting because we got second when we hit a solid routine.”

Just like any other aspect in life, cheer takes a lot of practice, more practice than most sports. At practice, our cheer team runs through the entire routine as if it was the real deal. According to Caitlynn Stouder, this makes practice very hard.

“We go over our routine in sections and when each is great we put it all together,” Stouter said. “We mainly practice our stunts.”

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State Cheerleading Championship 2017

A common stereotype associated with cheerleaders is that they are preppy and snotty, but that is definitely not the case with the cheerleaders at MCHS. Most of them are very down to earth and are nice. A lot of them are involved in many other groups such as football, National Honors Society, Future Farmers of America, Academic Team, and Character Ed, as well as the nursing program at Crowder.

In order to be a cheerleader at MCHS, they have to be hard working and have good character. Another stereotype that our cheerleaders often hear, is the stereotype that cheerleaders always wear their uniform wherever they go, to which they replied, “That would just be disgusting.”

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Football Homecoming Parade 2018

There are many things our cheerleaders are looking forward to this year. Joslyn Banta stated, “I am looking forward to getting another chance to to spend some time with some of my favorite people and competing in a sport I love!”

Brooke Cooper said, “I’m excited to get the chance to redeem ourselves against the Kewpies.”

Caitlynn Stouder added, “I’m so excited to go to state with a new amazing routine. I also cannot wait to make new memories with my cheer family, win or lose, the memories will last forever.”

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First football game of the year

This year’s state is at Lindenwood University on December 1st and 2nd.

The Hardest Thing To Lose

By Abby Bishop

Everyone finds something in high school that they know they will miss for the rest of their life. Whether it be a sport, a club, a hobby, or a passion that will probably not follow them to the next stage in life; there’s something for everyone. For me, it’s cheerleading.

Of course, you can say that it is “typical” and that it can’t possibly be that big of a deal, in which case you would be hazardously mistaken. Unlike anything else, cheer has taught me the value of a moment, the unmistakable importance of school spirit, and how to be confident; even when it is hard.

I hadn’t planned on trying out for cheer my senior year. As a matter of fact, I decided on the day of the first day of tryouts at around noon that I was going to. Looking back, I don’t have a single regret. I’m so glad I faced my crippling fear of failing and tried out.

I walked into the gym on that day hanging my head. I was terrified. What if I didn’t make it? What if everyone made it besides me? What if I made it and hated it? The questions swirling around my mind were dizzying. Long story short, I made the Varsity Cheer Team. I was ecstatic. I was on top of the world. And so began what I consider the best year of my high school career.

Through cheer, I now have 13 sisters/close friends (and I mean scary close; like knowing who it is by feeling their hands close). I make a difference in the lives of little girls and boys every single time I step out onto the floor. I cheer for a team that I believe in with all of my heart, win or lose.

However, most importantly, I’ve found something that will make saying goodbye immeasurably difficult. I have found something that will live on in my mind forever. I have found something that I can tell my children about one day and smile at all of the ridiculous memories: from super long bus rides filled with conspiracy theory discussions; to playing card games in the floor of a hotel room in Springdale, Arkansas; to almost dying of laughter at our Christmas party when we stayed up all night, even though most of us had to take finals the next day.

I must say, this week has the potential to be one of hardest of my life. Thursday marks my Senior Night. I will stand alongside the two girls I’ve spent four years cheering with as we are honored for our participation in and dedication to a sport we believe has the power to heal the sick and the blind. I will hear them say my name and probably shed a few tears as I realize that it is actually happening. Then when my teammates all start crying and reality sets in, I will want to rewind to day one.

To Carlie and Payton, two of the best friends and teammates that I could have ever asked for:  thank you for making these years, but especially this one, wonderful. You have changed my life and I am forever grateful for that. I hope that on Senior Night, you remember one thing:  it isn’t actually goodbye, it’s just a start of something new. You two will forever be extremely important to me. You both have impacted my life in ways that I can never repay.

Knowing that I was able to be a part of something so wonderful will always stick with me. I won’t forget the adults that come up to us at away games and tell us how impressed they are with us. I won’t forget making an “Energy Ball” on the bus and then losing it the next week. I won’t forget the feeling of rocking that homecoming performance. Most of all, I won’t forget what it feels like to be a Mustang and what it feels like to scream, yell, and lose my voice cheering for a team that I love.

To everyone else experiencing similar feelings:  I hope that you can also see all of the wonderful things that came of this. I hope you can remember the fun times; the hard times; and the times you wanted to dance like no one was watching, even though there were lots of people watching.

Thank you to my teammates, my parents, my school, and my coach for making this year one to remember forever.

Stepping into the Shoes of a High School Cheerleader

By Abby Bishop and Journey Sanny

Thursday, January 27 marked a special day for two MCHS Senior basketball managers. Journey Sanny and Riley Rickman joined a cheer practice to see what it is like on a regular basis.

The girls showed up for practice, stretched with the team, and started learning the new routine. Their experience was fun and rather interesting. Sanny says, “It was very fun, there was a lot of counting, and I didn’t realize how much went into it. Left over right or right over left? They make it look a lot easier than it really is! I am very proud of our Mustang Cheerleaders!” She also mentioned that she really enjoyed it, but was very exhausted.

Rickman also commented on the experience: “Cheerleading is a lot harder than many may realize. A lot of focus and commitment is required. Our cheerleaders are truly talented and we are lucky to have them cheering for us. I’m so glad we got to live out our cheerleading dreams. It was a blast!”

The Varsity Cheer team would like to thank them both for coming to visit us and for learning our routine with us!