CHEERLEADING PREVIEW: The Hornet Sideline Cheer Team Aims to Fire Up the Crowd and Team on Friday Nights


Whether they’re firing up the crowd, cheering on the team or making noise alongside the marching band, the Saline sideline cheerleading team is an integral part of the Friday night experience.

The Saline cheerleading team is led by eight seniors: Sophia Huntula-Miller, Avery Lee, Lily Derksen, Ashley Schneider, Julia Inge, Vita Castria, Kate Schmidt, Lily Cappello.

With that many senior leaders, the mother-daughter coaching team of Cathy Mutter and Sara Davis didn’t see much need to name captains.

“We have eight seniors who are all great leaders for our team. They have cheered together for three years,” coach Mutter said. “Each individual has outstanding strengths and provides guidance for our team in the areas they are most strong in. For example, one is strong in tumbling, one is strong in motions, one teaches cheers, one teaches stunting technique, one organizes our team communication. They each have an individual strength that contributes to our team leadership.”

The Saline cheerleading team is pictured. In front are Sophia Huntula-Miller, Avery Lee, Lily Derksen, Ashley Schneider, Julia Inge, Vita Castria, Kate Schmidt and Lily Cappello. In back are  Ainsley Jackson, Riley Brilliant, Ava Proctor, Sophia Wildfong, Ava Milton, Ella Patterson, Alaina Khazouz, Tanith Hohenberger, Claire Byron and Rayne Mosingo. Not pictured are  Sophie Schneider and Callahan Miltenberger.

Mutter said the team is ready for football season to begin and she’s encouraging the girls to soak up the experience.

“The role of a sideline cheer team is to lead the crowd in support of the football team. The excitement of the game, the band playing, the crowd cheering, the cheerleaders stunting and tumbling, and the dance team dancing all makes for Friday nights under the lights a great place to be,” Mutter said. “High school athletics are an important part of life for any high school student involved. You get four years to participate in the sport you love with your peers and to represent your school. We tell our athletes to make the most of every moment.”

Mutter has been coaching cheerleaders for 30 years at the high school level, coaching at Munisng before coming to Saline. She coached her daughter, Sara Davis, through her high school days. Davis went on to cheer at Central Michigan University and coach at Charlevoix. Before they came to Saline in 2016, they competed with each other. Now, they’re coaching together.

“ We have loved our experience here in Saline so far. The school and administration is very supportive of our program and athletes,” Mutter said.

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