More than 70 girls, kindergarten through seventh-grade, were put through their paces at the annual fall Mini-Cards clinic hosted by the Coon Rapids High School cheerleading squad Sunday morning.
The 25 high school cheerleaders taught the youngsters cheers, chants, jumping, tumbling and stunts, which they performed together during the first half and half-time of the Coon Rapids High School football game Wednesday.
The high school cheerleaders have a new coach this year.
Melissa Link is in her first year teaching seventh-and eighth-grade math at Coon Rapids Middle School, but she is not new to either teacher or coaching cheerleaders.
She has six years of teaching experience and has coached cheerleading for seven years in Rochester and Mankato.
Link grew up in Rochester, graduating from Rochester Century High School, then earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Minnesota Mankato.
She has also received a master’s degree from St. Mary’s University in Kansas in curriculum and instruction.
Link moved to the Twin Cities and Coon Rapids with her husband Andrew earlier this year after he got a job in the area.
She was fortunate to land a position at Coon Rapids Middle School, Link said.
“I am loving it,” she said.
“The community has been very welcoming, we like the neighborhood where we live and it has been a good experience.”
The transition from teaching elementary age students in Rochester and Mankato to teaching seventh- and eighth-graders at Coon Rapids Middle School has not been difficult, according to Link.
She is also enjoying coaching the Coon Rapids High School cheerleaders, Link said.
The fall cheerleading season is coming to a close with the section football playoffs starting next week, but the fall/winter cheerleading competition season kicks off Saturday in Elk River with a 16-member squad and tryouts will take place in early November for the winter cheerleading squad for high school basketball, hockey and wrestling activities, she said.
“Several of the girls go out for both competition and high school activities squads,” Link said.
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