ABILENE, Texas (KRBC/KTAB) — Students are ending this year doing school work at the kitchen table, and this transition to online learning means re-imagining other high school milestones for upcoming juniors and seniors. Tryouts for many high school programs have gone virtual.
Addie Thompson was one of two students chose to become the new “Champ,” Abilene High School’s spirited eagle mascot.
“I hope I can bring a ton of school spirit and just get people pumped up,” said Thompson.
Unable to perform her audition in person, she, like other students, was required to submit a short video showing off her school spirit.
“I think it was more nerve-wracking waiting instead of getting our results back the day of, but it was still fun,” said Thompson
Amanda Golding is Abilene High’s varsity cheer coach. She said high schools across the country are also conducting their team auditions virtually. But, it has been a rocky road for these programs.
“It took me a while to accept that this was going to be the new norm and this was how we were going to have to do it,” said Golding.
However, these virtual auditions enabled some students to come out of the woodwork who would normally be too nervous to audition in person. Golding said she received more applicants than previous years.
“And we even had girls make it that have never been in our program before, and so that was exciting,” said Golding. “I mean, they were very talented, and they just decided that they wanted to cheer.”
She was also surprised by students’ technology skills. She has considered blending virtual elements into future auditions to spot creativity and send digital content via social media.