Looking Ahead: Previewing Cheer Season with Coach Jeff Melesky


Photo M. Hall

Bailey Adams, Sports Editor

After placing third in last year’s state competition, Robinson cheer gets their season rolling, with their first competition coming up Dec. 3. The team loses 12 seniors from last year’s squad, but nine seniors will help fill in this year’s team. Head coach Jeff Melesky has high expectations for the future.

Q: What are your expectations for this upcoming season?

A: Our goal every year is to win a state championship. If we strive to get to that point, then we always have something to work up to. We can’t be satisfied with just going to states, we have to know that we belong there and others have to know that we are going to be there and contend every year. Being successful isn’t a sometimes thing, it’s an all the time thing.

Q: After losing 12 seniors from last year’s team, what kind of adjustments will be made this season?

A: Every year, we have adjustments. Last year’s team was super strong. That’s not something that you can replace. We had the western conference cheerleader of the year in Julie Williams. We had probably some of the strongest athletes in the school in Emily Swan, Jordan Fuller and Carson Cooper. You don’t just replace talent like that. As a coach, I try to build up those athletes who have that potential so that they can get to that point. Every day we have to get better as individuals. If we do that, we are going to be really good as a team.

Q: How will making the move from large division to medium affect your routine?

A:  As a coach, I have to put us in the best possible position to maximize our talents. I felt as if we would be better suited if we dropped down to compete with 16 [girls] instead of 20. Routine dynamics change a little. We go from five stunts to four, which affects our pyramids also. An advantage is we get to put a higher percentage of people tumbling in our routine.

Q: What will it take for the team to return to states?

A: We just have to continue to get better every day and continue to be “checked in” or focused on the long term goals. If we do that, everything else takes care of itself.

Q: Who are a couple of girls that you see making an impact on this year’s team?

A: I could name a bunch of people that are going to be big for us this year. We have only six people returning to a position they performed for us last year. I’m super excited about our senior leadership and our freshmen that will have an impact on our program for years to come. Kelly Dorsey (’16), Pascale Denson (’16) and Keely Clanton (’16) bring the experience. Sydney VanAelst (’19), Alex Takagishi (’19) and Sarah Casper (’19) and Julia Register (’18) and Hannah Duncan (’18) prove that RHS cheer is going to be good for a long time.