EVART — Last week was the final period when athletes could practice informally in getting ready for the practice season which began this past Monday for football and starts Wednesday for other sports.

But in order to get started this week, Evart cheerleader coach Marty Pattee, who has had workshops this summer for her girls, conducted tryouts. That way, practices can start this week immediately for those that made the team.

Pattee conducted tryouts from Monday through Friday, two hours each day, in the cafeteria.

During the tryouts, Pattee had 16 girls from grades nine though 12 competing.

“There’s only one sideline cheer (team) in the fall right now,” she said, “just like in the winter.”

Pattee indicated the number for girls she would keep on her squad depended on the scores.

“If there’s a natural break at 10 or 12, or whatever, wherever it shows a big discrepancy in scores,” that’s one possible cutoff, Pattee said, “and if I think someone isn’t going to progress quick enough, there’s no way they’ll be able to keep up with the varsity level.”

The girls will be cheering at all varsity football games, home and away.

There will be no JV squad this fall.

“The decision was we need to focus our time and money on the middle school,” Pattee said. “We didn’t have them last year. Pending board approval, we would have them back. The middle school will compete in the winter (not in the fall) just like my (varsity) kids do.”

Pattee said she evaluates cheerleaders during tryout with a skill sheet.

“I check their jumps, their gymnastics, their stunting skills, and I watch for their attitude and their willingness to work with others and their potential to be a part of a team,” Pattee said. “About half of them have experience. We have some new people.”

Practices were set to start Monday of this week.

“We have to keep plugging away at it,” Pattee said. “This is only for football season. We will have another tryout in November for competitive cheer, and we’ll get back at again.”