TEAM HANDBOOK

   (Revised June 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017,2018)

                                                                    Contact information:

Varsity Coach and JJ Cheer program director

                                       Alice Granger -        cell 914 447-4347

Varsity Coach

                                   Amanda Guida –  cell 845 401-5103

 JV Coaches

                               Danielle Camporese –  cell 845 380-1947

                                 Mary Collier -   cell 845 702-3208

                            John Jay cheerleading web site:       

              Schedules and full calendars as well as other team information can be found on our web site.  


John Jay Cheerleading is a very unique sport.  The cheerleading team is given the opportunity to support their school
in 2 very different ways.  The Cheerleading team will support other school sports on the sidelines of that sport’s
games.  The cheerleaders will encourage crowd support, school spirit and pride while executing cheers using their
skills and training (i.e. cheers, stunts, tumbling)

The cheerleaders are also given the opportunity to participate in competitions that represent their sport. The
competitions exhibit the athleticism involved in the sport of cheerleading.  They will represent John Jay HS at local,
Sectional,  Regional and State competitions.  There may also be opportunities to attend National competitions.

The coaches believe that the primary purpose of John Jay Cheerleading is to promote school spirit and pride using
athletic talents in the sport of Cheerleading.  However, we also believe that these athletes will learn the many lessons
of “sport” through the opportunities open to them with competitive cheerleading.  Cheerleading is a team sport that
requires every athlete to have a strong commitment to the team.  We do not look for individual glory but for individual
improvement that strengthens the team as a whole.

The coaching staff firmly believes that through the sport of cheerleading each individual athlete will learn life lessons
such as team work, commitment, accountability, friendship, community, goal setting, and many more that will stay with
the athlete long after the game, competition or season is over!  At the same time, each individual cheerleader will be
encouraged to refine and increase their individual skills to their highest levels.  

In addition to the athletic skills our program emphasizes the importance of academics.  It will teach the athlete how to
have a balance between academics and athletics.  Our goal is to encourage the participants to be scholar athletes!

The John Jay coaching staff agrees with the philosophy of the John Jay administration; being a member of an athletic
team is a privilege, not a right.  Our athletes are held to a higher standard and expected to be leaders in their school

John Jay Cheerleading will always strive to be number 1, but more than the win; we will learn from and cherish all the
experiences that get us to that competitive level.


John Jay cheerleading follows the rules for tryouts and eligibility that are in place for all Wappingers Central School
district interscholastic sports.  Please see the WCSD booklet for interscholastic sports rules and guidelines.

Tryouts will take place starting on the specified dates given by Section 1 athletics. (fall season – usually the 2nd
Monday in August.  Winter season – usually between 5th and 9th of November.)

Sports physical

·         Physical must be up to date and Athlete must be registered via the Family ID online registration tool

“Open” Summer Conditioning/ Strength training and practices (held at JJ track):

·        2 to 3 days a week 8:30-10:30   usually starting the week after July 4th holiday

·         Optional but highly recommended getting to as many of these practices as possible.  Tryouts will include a test
of conditioning and strength, such as running, push-ups, abs etc.

·         Must bring hand held weights, exercise ball and towel.  Also suggest a weighted medicine ball   

·         Always bring water and a healthy snack

“Open” summer stunting clinics and flexibility training

1 evening a week from 5-7 pm


·         Tryouts will take place over 2-3 days at John Jay HS.  Time TBA

·         Must attend all days of tryouts

·         All veteran and new cheerleaders must tryout. ** Being a member of a team in the previous season does not
guarantee a position on a team in the current season.  Teams are picked based on the skill level of all the athletes
trying out.

If skills are lost or not being executed following tryouts, the coaches do have the discretion of either cutting the
cheerleader the following season or dropping the cheerleader from varsity to JV if it applies.  Example; Fall season a
cheerleader is selected due to her tumbling skills shown at tryouts but the cheerleader stops throwing her tumbling
skills in routine.  Winter season that cheerleader may be removed from the team or dropped down to the JV team if
applicable.  This is also true for any skill set that helps determine a cheerleader’s placement on a team.   

·         Dark shorts and white t-shirt must be worn with hair up in pony tail.

·         Number of members on each team will be determined by skill level

·         There may be alternates or just game cheerleaders picked for each team.  If a cheerleader is an alternate or
game cheerleader he/she is a full member of the team but will not participate in the Competitive contests

Starting in fall 2018 there is a Game Day division for competitions vs the regular competitions.   It is possible for an
athlete to be on the Game Day competition team but not be on the Full competition team.   Winter season does not
have a Game Day division.  In winter season there is only Competitive cheer.  

Varsity skills we will be looking for:

·         A conditioned athlete: able to run 1 mile nonstop under 10 minutes, perform sets of sit ups, push-ups and
strength skills and demonstrate core strength

·         Standing tumbling – back handspring, standing tuck

·         Running tumbling- round off/back handspring, r/o tuck, r/o bhs tuck, r/o bhs layout and fulls

·         Jumps:  triple  jumps at the intermediate and advanced levels

·         Stunting:  able to perform at 2 different positions in a stunt (front spotting is not a position) Flyers and bases
must show ability of 2 legged and single leg stunts.  Must also show skill levels of load in skills, transitional stunts and

·         Knowledge of tryout routine

·         Strong motions

·         Strong Floor presence/attitude

·         Good leadership skills

A cheerleader may be placed on varsity if he/she meets the majority of these skills.  Participants not meeting this skill
level may be placed on Jr Varsity

Coaches will give tryout results to each individual athlete face to face following the last day of tryouts.


Every cheerleader is a vital and important part of their team.  She/he must attend ALL practices and games!!  

John Jay Cheerleading must be your priority SPORT, club or activity.  No other activity can take precedence over
cheerleading or be a reason to miss practices and games.  This includes Employment.    

Athletics stress a healthy life style and body image.   John Jay cheerleading promotes a healthy lifetstyle which
includes good nutrition, appropriate hydration, muscle recovery, good body image and avoiding substances that are a
detriment to over all good health.   Any cheerleader exhibiting unhealthy lifestyles that may be dangerous to her
physical or emotional health will be asked to speak with a coach in order to help them.   

John Jay cheerleading will not tolerate the use of any illegal substance at any JJ cheer event.  Any
cheerleader found with an illegal substance or being underage using alcohol, tobacco  or vaping any
substance will be suspended from the team for a time period of at least 1 week or dismissed from the
team.  (guidelines are also listed in the WCSD interscholastic athletic policies)

We do not look for individual glory; we look for individual improvement which strengthens the team!

Commitment to the team means commitment to your academics.  It is necessary and important to keep up with all
school work and strive for excellence in school.  A cheerleader with failing grades can only hurt the team.  If a
cheerleader is struggling with school it is her/his responsibility to let the coaches know so they can assist in finding
help or tutoring.

It is every cheerleader’s responsibility to manage schoolwork and cheerleading.  School work should not be a reason
to miss a practice or game if your time is managed well.

Sportsmanship is vital to cheerleading.  All John Jay cheerleaders will always display good sportsmanship.  This
means being positive and respectful to your teammates as well as to any visiting school’s athletes or fans.  This
applies to all John Jay cheerleaders even when they are not with their team, but are wearing any apparel that shows
they are a member of John Jay Cheerleading.

Community service is a mandatory part of John Jay cheerleading.  Every cheerleader is required to attend the
community service projects.

 Every Cheerleader must respect herself, her teammates and the coaches.  Disrespect will never be tolerated!!  
Repeated disrespect to coaches, teammates or team rules will result in removal from the team.  

It is each individual cheerleader’s responsibility to be aware of the team’s schedule.  Work is never an excuse to miss
a practice or game.  Schedules are usually posted at least a month in advance

If a cheerleader is going to miss a practice or game, a coach must be called at least 2 hours before that practice or
game.  An unexcused absence from a game or practices will sideline the cheerleader from the next game or portion of
that game.  Texting a coach is not an acceptable form of communication

Parents should not “punish” a cheerleader by not allowing them to attend a game or practice.

 Every cheerleader must be on time for all practices and games.  Cheerleaders should be at the gym 15 minutes prior
to the start time for practices and 45 minutes prior to the start of a game

Every cheerleader is required to practice in specific and assigned shorts, t-shirt and cheerleading sneakers.  Hair
must be up in ponytail

Cell phones may not be used at any times during practices, games, competitions and on buses to/from events.  It is
the policy of JJ cheerleading that no phones be carried by our athletes to competitions and during the competition.  
Cell phones must be either left home or will be collected by the coach until the end of the game/competition  

Full uniform is required at all games. This means team skirt, top, briefs, hair bow and team cheer

removed prior to the start of a practice or game.

If any cheerleader has a tattoo it must be covered for all practices and games  

Never should any John Jay Cheerleader post any John Jay cheer routine, team picture, individual pictures on any
social media site without a coach’s permission.  Posting of any John Jay routine or team members without permission
could result in suspension or removal from the team.

Once a team is picked for a season, a competitive team MAY be picked from that team.  There will be a chosen
number of competitive cheerleaders and there COULD be alternates to that team. Alternates are required to attend all
practices, and competitions.  They will learn the competition routine and in the case of an illness or injury to a
competitive cheerleader, the alternate will be placed onto the competition squad.  In addition, a competitive team
cheerleader that does not follow team rules or misses team practices may be moved to alternate status and an
alternate will replace her/him on the competitive team.

A cheerleader may tryout and cheer at  just games and not be competitive, however all competitive cheerleaders
must cheer at games

Selection of team captains is at the discretion of the coaches.

In addition to these rules every cheerleader will receive the Wappingers School district guidelines for interscholastic


For most of the rules, the first infraction will result in the coach speaking with the cheerleader. Severity of the
infraction will dictate the punishment.  

Cheerleaders repeatedly late to practice may lose their role in the competition routine.  

Cheerleaders that miss practices will sit for one game, if the behavior persists, the cheerleader may be removed from
the team.  

Poor Sportsmanship, inappropriate postings on the internet, or disrespect shown to team members or coaches could
result in immediate removal of the team.

Any cheerleader suspended from school is also suspended from cheerleading and risks being removed from the
competitive squad.

Any cheerleader that misses a Competition contest without the approval of the coaches is immediately removed from
the team.   


We maintain an open communication policy between coaches, cheerleaders and parents.  The coaches’ policy will
always be to discuss small problems between the coach and cheerleader.  If the results from that discussion are not
satisfactory the coach will then speak with the parent of that cheerleader.  For any problem that the coach feels the
safety or health of a cheerleader is at risk, the coach will immediately consult with the parent.

If a parent wants to speak with a coach, the only appropriate times to do so is before the start of practice if there is
sufficient time or at the end of practice.  A parent should only contact a coach at home for extreme reasons unless the
coach offers parents to reach her there.  E-mail is also an appropriate form of communication.   

A coach will not discuss cheerleaders other than the parents’ child with those parents.  It is also not appropriate for a
parent to contact a coach concerning his/her child’s “spot” in a routine or formation.  Decisions about cheerleader
placement in cheers and routines are at the discretion of the coach.

The coaches will often use their captains and/or veteran cheerleaders to distribute information to the team.  This form
of communication will usually consist of practices times, changes in times and game or practice attire.  

The method of choice for the coaches to distribute team information is at end of practice/game meetings, texts and
thru e-mail.

Parent Participation:

While it is important for the athletes at this age to become more responsible and self-reliant, parental participation is
still vital for each athlete’s success and for our program’s success.   John Jay Cheer Booster Club is for the parent
participation and to help parents support their athletes through many activities.   

The Booster club also is an important financial support for the program since there are very limited funds from the
school and district.   

It is mandatory for all John Jay cheer parents to participate in the John Jay Cheer Events.  

As of fall 2018, it is mandated that each parent sign up for at least one JJ cheer fundraising event other than the
JJHS Cheer Invitational which is mandatory for all of our parents.   These events may consist of planning and carrying
out an event or could be as simple as phone calls.   


Being a member of John Jay Cheerleading does come with some financial obligations.  There are required sneakers,
uniform pieces, practice gear etc that are essential for safety and team work.

John Jay Cheer provides many fundraising opportunities for our program.  New for fall 2016, every cheerleader will be
required to raise a minimum of $50 for the JJ Cheer booster club general fund.

 No cheerleader will ever be turned away from a team due to financial hardship.  The John Jay Cheerleading Booster
Club does have a plan in place for financial hardships.  The program offers many fund raising opportunities to the
team members to help offset costs.  While these are all optional, if a hardship exists, that cheerleader must participate
in the program fund raisers.  To request hardship status a written letter must be sent to the booster club treasurer.  
The treasurer will then contact the family to start the process.  All information is kept confidential.

I have read and understand all the information in the John Jay Cheerleading Handbook.   I will follow all sport and
team rules for John Jay Cheerleading as listed above.

________________________________________________                          _______________

(Cheerleader’s signature)                                                                                      Date

_______________________________________________                      ________________

(Parent’s signature)                                                                                                 Date