Students can get involved in a variety of ways as a ninth-grader. Check out the various options and get connected. Interested in starting an activity? Contact Principal Mitch Kuhnert.

Note: Due to COVID-19, some activities may be altered, suspended, or canceled based on the situation.


Tryouts are during the spring semester of your 8th grade year prior to the up-coming 9th grade fall/winter seasons. A mandatory tryout meeting is usually held the week before spring break and tryouts are usually the week following spring break.

There are 10 teams you can try out for:

  1. JV Football
  2. Varsity Football
  3. JV Basketball
  4. Varsity Basketball
  5. JV Wrestling
  6. Varsity Wrestling
  7. Competition Squad (must be on Varsity Football squad)
  8. JV Football Practice Squad
  9. JV Basketball Practice Squad
  10. JV Wrestling Practice squads (the practice squads do not cheer at games)
  • Practices are held after school at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church or at Valley High School.
  • Season length depends on the squad
  • There are practice and camp requirements in the summer preceding your 9th grade year.
  • Game schedules vary with sport and squad; calendars are made available to cheerleaders months in advance.
  • Attendance is mandatory for practices and games.
  • There are out of pocket costs.
  • There is mandatory fundraising since cheerleading is not funded by the district.

Dates: Summer before ninth-grade year and spring of ninth-grade year | Contact: Beth Ferguson – 515-633-4103


September or early October as scheduled by the director. Eligibility for any co-curricular ensemble requires enrollment in curricular choirs (Treble or Bass Clef)

Dates: September – May | Contact: Chloe McCartney – 515-633-4507

Community Service Learning/Silver Cord

The Silver Cord Program began at Valley High School in the fall of 2001 as a graduation incentive program to promote a lifetime of community service. The award is a graduation award available to WDMCS
district seniors who volunteer a minimum of 50 hours for a minimum of three different non-profit organizations during every year of high school.

Today, WDMCS Community Education coordinates the program district wide and over 700 students from Valley, Valley Southwoods, and Walnut Creek Campus are volunteering to earn this award. All West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) high school students are encouraged to participate regardless of their GPA, rigor of course study, artistic, or athletic ability. The purpose of the Silver Cord program is to encourage volunteerism and allow students to experience the joy of giving back to the community. Volunteering career interests, support youth seeking employment and college admission, and gives new graduates the confidence to serve in leadership roles after high school.

Who is Eligible to Participate?
All WDMCS freshman are eligible to participate in the Silver Cord Program beginning the summer following 8th grade. To earn the Silver Cord Award, high school students must volunteer a minimum of 50 hours for a minimum of three different non-profit organizations each school year.

How Does a Student Sign Up?
Students should complete the online application to acquire their Silver Cord account. This can be found on the WDMCS Community Education website and is located under Silver Cord.

Dates: September – May | Contact: Cyndi Bonus – 515-633-4365

Dance Team

Try-outs for 9th grade non-competitive Dance Team are at the beginning of April in a student’s 8th grade year. Dance Team members will learn 3 routines in the 9th grade school year: jazz, pom, and hip-hop and perform at 9th grade football and basketball games, WDM 4th of July parade and the VSW/VHS Homecoming parade. Practices are twice a week starting in the summer before the 9th grade year starts and after school during the school year. Dance Team is a great way to meet new people. Team socials are scheduled once a month

Dates: June-February | Contact: Tessa Hanna – 712-389-5791 or Lindsay Brand – 901-428-0057


The VSW Forensics Class and Team includes many activities such as policy, Lincoln Douglas, Legislative and Public Forum Debate. It also includes speech activities like Original Oratory, Prose/Poetry, Acting and Extemporaneous Speaking. This is a perfect opportunity for someone who would like to develop their critical thinking, research, writing and speaking skills. Forensics (debate) is co-curricular. You must be enrolled in the class to be on the team. The team participates in local tournaments with some travel opportunities out of the state for Freshman who excel and qualify in their area of competition. Students will have travel expenses for out of town and out of state tournaments. The Freshman will work closely with the varsity team members at Valley. It is an excellent way to develop skills for upper level high school classes and good preparation for college and standardized testing. Performances are throughout the year and students may select from among a list of competition opportunities to fit your schedule.

Dates: September-May | Contact: Dave McGinnis – 515-633-4000


Valley Southwoods Drama Department works with the Valley High School Drama Department to offer a variety of opportunities for freshman to be involved in Drama. Those opportunities include, but are not limited to: Drama Camp, VSW Fall Production, Large Group Festival, and Southwoods spring production.

Dates: August-May

Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)

Students have an opportunity to talk about their faith and how it applies to their everyday life and activities. Guest speakers, retreats and huddle groups highlight the schedule during the year. Meetings and events usually occur every other Monday night throughout the school year. For updates, follow us on twitter @Valley_FCA

Dates: September-May | Contact: Kevin Kellner – 515-577-7735


Intramurals are divided up into Fall and Spring Leagues during the school year. There are a variety of sports to choose from throughout the year such as Flag Football, Tennis, Basketball, Sand Volleyball, Bowling, Golf and many others. All activities encourage men, woman, and coed teams to sign up and participate in an activity that you enjoy. You do not have to be a skilled athlete to participate in Intramurals, only a desire to have fun, stay active, and compete with your fellow students. Information and sign-up sheets can always be found in the main office at Valley Southwoods.

Dates: Fall Season: September-January; Spring Season: March-May |

Powder Puff

Yearly football game at Valley Stadium for girls interested in participating in the Homecoming week activities.

Dates: September | Contact: Rhys Pate – 515-633-4579

Media Center Helper

Helpers assist with the day-to-day operation of the Media Center, such as checking out books to students, re-shelving materials, helping select new books, etc.

Dates: first and second semester | Contract: Craig Bittick – 515-633-4257

Mock Trial

Mock Trial introduces students to the legal system by providing a challenging, academic competition. The students play the roles of attorneys, plaintiffs, and defendants. Local attorneys serve as their coaches. Lawyer roles require critical thinking skills and witness roles require some ability to act.

Dates: December-March | Contact: Shannon Belden – 515-633-6068


In addition to the regular daily orchestra class students may participate in Mariachi Tigres de Valle and smaller chamber ensembles such as string quartets that perform in various set.

Dates: September-May | Contact: Michelle Senger – 515-633-4510

Student Leadership

Student Leadership is in charge of various drives, helps to encourage school spirit and plans activities that they would like to see implemented during or after the school day, such as starting clubs, community service projects and fund-raisers.

Dates: September-May | Contact: Rhys Pate – 515-633-4579

Synchronized Swimming

The Tigerlillies are recognized as a club sport. Our main focus is the annual Water Show in the spring. The Tigerlillies season is typically a two month season with a few clinic opportunities prior to the start of the season. This activity requires about five hours a week.

Dates: January-April | Contact: Susan Vandeventer – 515-783-4084

S.W.A.G. (Southwoods Ambassador Group)

South Woods Ambassador Group – All 9th grade students are welcome to join! SWAG promotes a positive school climate. We organize fun and informative events and activities for the school. We need creative and positive leaders to help us spread kindness and respect! Listen for announcements.

Dates: September-May | Contact: Tess Grandgenett – 515-633-4524 or T.J. Cox – 515-633-4643

Weight Lifting

Meets in the VSW weight room. Open to all VSW 9th grade students. Supervised weight training times and days of the week will be announced at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.

Dates: September-May | Contact: Peter Hunter/Rhys Pate – 515-633-4500


The Yearbook Staff is responsible for all aspects of putting the yearbook together and will consist of the following positions: taking pictures and using your own creativity to make individual pages for the yearbook. Students interested should add the informational meeting at the beginning of the school year. Listen for the announcement about this meeting when the school year has begun.

Dates: September-May