Pom and cheer squads to become "spirit line" at KHS

Kingman High School will take its present 12-member pom squad and 10-member cheerleader squad at each level and turn them into 20-member spirit lines.

The Mohave Union High School District Governing Board approved the change during its meeting Tuesday night.

Tim Casson, north campus athletic director, presented the proposal.

"The reason for the move is mainly problems with supervision we have had and an inability to attract people on staff to the coaching positions," Casson said.

At present, one coach at each level (freshman, junior varsity, varsity) oversees a pom and cheerleading squad, Casson said.

The coach often has to move back and forth between locations where each squad is practicing, creating the problem in supervision.

In addition, there is a communication problem with coaches who are not on-campus personnel, he said.

Cheerleading squads try to raise spirit and fan support during the course of football and basketball games.

Pom squads do dance routines at half-time of those sporting events.

Spirit squads will do both, eliminating petty competitions between cheerleading and pom squads, Casson said.

During the discussion, it was pointed out that pom team members have to know some technical moves for their dance routines that would be hard for cheerleaders to pick up quickly.

However, most of those present supported the idea of a spirit team.

Casson cited Deer Valley High as having an exception spirit team and said that school has offered to share its knowledge with KHS.

After the board passed a motion by Andra Goldberg to allow spirit teams to be formed, member Gordon Stewart introduced a second motion.

Stewart wants to keep spirit teams at 22 members, the combined number of pom and cheerleader squads now.

He said he wants as many girls as possible to participate.

Board member Jeri Short added it was a good idea because of attrition due to students failing, moving away or illness.

The board adopted Stewart's motion.

A three-year timetable was agreed upon for implementation.

A freshman spirit team will begin next fall, followed by a junior varsity team in 2001 and a varsity squad in 2002.

The governing board also heard a request from the site council from KHS South to not put lockers back into the building.

They were taken out last summer during an asbestos removal project, but problems with floor tiles during the school year precluded re-installing them.

Parent Julie Wilkinson spoke for the site council.

She said a survey was done of eighth-graders in the community to see what their preferences are about lockers.

Wilkinson said 100 surveys were distributed at Kingman Junior High, though only 48 were returned.

Of those, 12 pupils said they do not want lockers when they get to ninth grade while 36 said they do want them.

An additional 28 responses were received from pupils at the Kingman Academy of Learning.

Just three pupils there said they do not want lockers, 25 do.

Safety and health reasons were cited during the ensuing discussion.

It was stated lockers are one more location on campus where weapons and explosives could be concealed and from which drugs could be sold.

Board members were told a second set of texts known as "class" books are available on the south campus.

That will eliminate the need for students to carry books in backpacks.

However, Goldberg and board member Mike Cobb both said they want lockers put back into hallways.

Goldberg said illegal items are being found as often on a student's person or in a car in the school parking lot as in lockers.

Cobb said he will have a daughter in the ninth grade in two years and he has no fear for her safety with lockers.

But Stewart and Short want more time to consider everything and, at their request, the item was tabled until next month's meeting.