DHS cheerleading tryouts main topic at Demopolis City Schools forum

Published 3:27 pm Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Demopolis City Board of Education held a public forum Saturday afternoon, and the main topic of discussion was the process of cheerleading tryouts at Demopolis High School.

Tryouts for football and basketball cheerleading have been held in recent weeks, and at the beginning of the tryouts, those trying out were told that there would be two separate squads with two separate tryouts. There was also a rule that the students could only try out for one squad or the other.

Football tryouts were held first, and basketball tryouts were held a couple of weeks later. When basketball tryouts rolled around, those that did not make the football cheerleading squad were told that they could try out again for the basketball cheerleading squad.

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The parents of cheerleaders that did not try out for football for the purpose of waiting for basketball were upset with the rule change because they felt it put their children at a disadvantage to the others that had tried out previously.

Superintendent Dr. Al Griffin said he felt that if the students cheer for Demopolis High School, they should cheer in all sports.

“If you represent Demopolis High School, you should represent it in all entities,” he said. “I have to let the athletic leadership at the school handle this. I’m going to be speaking to people about it.”

Dana Hill, whose daughter made the football cheerleading squad, said she felt the tryouts system was fair in the beginning, but changing the rules after the fact made it unfair to the other girls.

“Everything was fine until they said the girls that didn’t make it on football could tryout again for basketball,” Hill said.

Dr. Griffin and the other board members present said they will look into the issue and try to come up with a solution in the near future.

Also discussed during the forum was the mandate from the state board of education for there to be only one high school diploma instead of two.

The mandate allows for different endorsements on the diploma that take the place of having separate diplomas. There are endorsements for different things that will add to a normal diploma.