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Red Rock High School Spiritline coach Katarina Crawley expects to have a well-rounded team this year, not only in terms of what they do for spiritline, but also in terms of how they approach their high school experience in general.

Sedona Red Rock High School’s Spiritline team Malia Sonn, left top, Mariloyn Arizmendi, top right; and Mary Brown, new coach Katarina Crawley, Samarah Elmer, Tavish Demayo, Taylor Gusoan, Annabelle Ropp, Taylor Brown, Annie Koepke, Jessica Wisemen, Rebel Turner and Zoe Rodriguez, left to right, practice pyramid poses on Friday, Aug. 16, at the back field at the school. Crawley is getting ready for the football season with the first game of the season Friday, Aug. 30.“I think in high school that the more you do, the more you’re going to learn, and I try to really push my girls to do other things besides cheer,” Crawley said.

She said some of those “other things” could include everything from playing other sports to joining student council.
“That’s what high school’s all about,” she said, “doing new things — getting involved.”

With a team consisting of 14 girls — only three of whom were on last year’s squad — and two boys, Crawley, who is in her first full year as head coach, said she also expects everyone to learn all three spiritline disciplines: cheering, dancing and stunting.

There are always girls who are better at one thing than some of the other girls,” Crawley said. “It’s kind of the nice thing about having such a large team is we’re going to be very well-rounded — you have your girls who really excel at stunting and then you have your girls who really excel at dancing, and the girls who really excel at cheering.

“The nice thing about that is that they can help coach each other. It makes for a very well-rounded team as well as a very bonded team.”

Crawley, who had previously been the assistant coach to former Red Rock Spiritline coach Angela Biermann, said the team is going to spend a great deal of time early in the season on stunting, which includes lifting girls up into the air and building pyramids.

“The last couple years the high school team has not done stunting, and stunting is such a huge part of cheer,” she said. “That was one of my main goals coming in as a coach was to bring that back.

“So I came in with a ‘that’s what we’re going to do every day’ attitude — we’re going to stunt and stunt and stunt until we’re real good at this.”

The team’s practices, which Crawley said include running, stretching, push-ups, crunches and lunges, are designed to get everyone in prime condition to perform their cheering, dancing and stunting routines.

But Crawley said that her goal is to eventually develop a competition cheer team, although because of the relative inexperience of this year’s team, she is going to leave it up to them to decide if they want to compete.

“Before competition season starts we will sit down as a team and discuss it,” she said. “I always tell my girls that cheerleading isn’t for me — I’ve already done cheer and now I’m just helping them on their journey, so if they want to do competitions we will practice it.”

Despite the fact that competition has become a large part of cheering, Crawley said that the primary goal of supporting the school’s other sports teams will remain her team’s focus.

“The nice thing about the long season is that we can cheer for all the sports, and I think that is so good in high school — to have people there cheering you on when you’re on another team,” Crawley said. “So we will not only cheer for football, but we’ll also cheer for basketball, and then we’re going to go out and support all the other sports teams — swimming, volleyball, soccer, boys and girls.

“I’m all about school spirit and getting everybody to support each other.”

Jeff Bear can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 131 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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  • Philippe Norbert

    I have to say the girls are extremely cute. Not just because of their appearance and innocence. But how the coaching of Katarina Crawley has thrived them to take part in other social school activities. It's really fantastic to see this kind of High School spirit still going strong! :)

    Keep it up,

    ~Très Mignon!

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