DAMASCUS, Md. (WUSA 9) -- Go, fight, win, cheer!
That's how the Damascus High School cheerleading squad motivates its team and inspires others.
Last year, the squad won both the county and state cheerleading competitions and helped encourage school spirit.
"These girls are very talented," coach Lindsay Durkin said. "They don't get enough recognition."
Like most fall sports, Durkin said the squad starts conditioning early in the summer and had tryouts in June.
She said regular practices do not begin until Aug. 13, but the girls have been conditioning by stunting, tumbling, running and even doing some lifting.
"They are a very hard-working group of girls," Durkin said.
The squad is not only preparing to cheer on its team in the upcoming season, Durkin said the squad also competes in three cheerleading competitions throughout the year.
"These girls put in so much time cheering and supporting the school and the other teams," she said. "It really has been a very rewarding experience to coach them."
Encouraging school spirit is a tradition at Damascus, Durkin said. She said after every touchdown the band plays the school fight song, where the cheerleaders lead the fans in singing along.
She also said the cheerleaders wear the football players' jerseys at every homecoming game and ride in the homecoming parade. Durkin said a more recent tradition is having team dinners before every home game.
"It truly has been a blessing to be able to help keep all of the Damascus traditions alive," Durkin said.
The squad plans to compete in both the county and state competition, as well as the competition hosted by Paint Branch High School.