While the coronavirus pandemic has pushed it back from its original date, newly-hired Hopkinsville Middle School cheerleading coach Elle Hancock has announced that cheerleading tryouts will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. starting July 6.

The tryouts will be outdoors at HMS. To secure a spot to try out, parents or students must call Hancock in advance at 270-719-2132.

Continuing each day until July 10, Hancock said tryouts will be a little different from the typical tryouts during the school year.

“They’re not required to wear a mask, it’s optional,” Hancock said. “They want us to try to stay 6 feet apart if we can. If they’re going to be working really closely together then they ask us (coaches) to wear a mask.”

With it being outdoors, there will be tents set up with water.

When water is being served, the coaches will be wearing masks and gloves. If students need to use the bathroom, they will go one at a time and the coaches will have to clean the restroom after each person.

Hancock said there’s a chance this variation of tryouts will have less participants than usual because it’s harder to spread the word with students not in school. However, if there are any students on the fence about trying out, Hancock said it can’t hurt to come out and have a little fun.

“I would say that they should just go for it,” she said. “Cheerleading or any kind of sports in school is all about having fun, so even if they don’t make the team hopefully they have fun while they’re doing it. And if not, they should try back next year.”

Hancock is facing multiple challenges as a new head coach amid a pandemic, but she is excited to get things going with the season beginning Aug. 8.

“I’m really looking forward to just getting the team put together,” she said. “Our first game is Aug. 8, so that’s kind of a short period of time that we have to get everything together, to get cheers learned and stuff like that, but I’m probably most looking forward to cheer camp. That’s always my favorite.”

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