EVART — Evart’s cheerleaders are ready to take on the challenges of the January portion of their schedule. 

The Wildcats are led by seniors Loraine Foster and Shantelle Nicoletta.

It’s her third season of competitive cheer, Foster said.

Last year, “we struggled a little bit, but things went well for the amount of people we had,” Foster, who had missed her sophomore season, said. “I fit right back in.”

Foster is at the base position this year. She’s a former backspotter.

Foster also plays volleyball in the fall and softball in the spring.

Cheer practices started in early November.

“We’ve made quite a bit of progress,” Foster said.

Evart was third at the Houghton Lake Invitational on Dec. 19. More meets are set in January and February and Foster acknowledged the Wildcats needed some mat time to get in the proper competitive mode.

“It could take us one or two competitions,” Foster said, adding Round 3, featuring stunts and mounts, could be the team’s best.

It’s also Nicoletta’s third season of competitive cheer. She didn’t cheer last season.

“I like it and I missed it last year,” she said. “I missed the teamwork.”

Nicoletta is usually at the backspot or base.

“I’m there to make sure the flyer doesn’t touch the ground,” she said. “I feel I know a lot more about (cheer) than when I first started out. You adapt to it.”

Nicoletta agreed with Foster that plenty of progress has been made since practices started.

“We work together really well,” she said. “I don’t let my flyer touch the ground. I haven’t let her touch the ground this season.”

Nicoletta indicated Round 1, which deals with precision and hand motions, might be the strongest round for the Wildcats.

“We’ve known it longer,” she said, adding Round 3 needs more work. “Timing is an issue we need to work on a lot.”

The more competitive events, the better the team should be, Nicoletta indicated.

“I feel like the first two are a little shaky,” she said. “After that, we know what we’re doing.”

Nicoletta said she does competitive and sideline cheer. She prefers the competitive variety.

“It’s more intense in competitive,” Nicoletta said.

The next meet for Evart is a home invitational this Saturday.