Cheer Brings Back School Spirit Despite a Tough Season

Junior+Varsity+cheerleaders+practice+on+the+lower+basketball+courts.+During+practice+and+at+the+games%2C+the+students+are+required+to+be+both+masked+and+distanced.+Cheerleaders+have+been+able+to+attend+football+games+both+at+home+and+away+and+even+had+their+own+senior+night+along+with+the+football+team.

Hannah White

Junior Varsity cheerleaders practice on the lower basketball courts. During practice and at the games, the students are required to be both masked and distanced. Cheerleaders have been able to attend football games both at home and away and even had their own senior night along with the football team.

Sydney Wolfe, Staff Writer

With the five-game football season coming to a close, cheer wrapped up their season on the sidelines. Earlier this year, however, the team faced many challenges that halted them from having a conventional season.

Like many other sports, cheer faced a period of uncertainty at the beginning of the year due to the pandemic and the restrictions it put on school sports. The football season, which usually takes place in the fall, was temporarily canceled, thus kicking cheer and other sideline groups such as band off the fields too. 

“At the start of the year we were meeting on Zoom to talk about what the year was going to look like and what we could do. We stuck to just doing Zoom for a while until we were given the green light to start practice in October. We started in-person [practices] during fourth period outside after that and it has continued like that for the rest of the year,” said junior, varsity cheerleader Analiese Wolf.

While most sports attempted to do practices via Zoom as well as at-home training, cheer is harder to practice individually, considering the number of stunts and synchronized cheering that has to be perfected for games. At a high level, most athletes do their own practices outside of school, but it’s especially important to be with the team to practice teamwork and spirit.

The season was a little different because we had to wear masks and social distance, but I think the biggest difference to previous years was the crowd.”

— Jonnelle

Even once the team was allowed to resume their in-person practices, social distancing confined the amount of physical collaboration and synergy that could be practiced. Something unique about cheer is that it is centered around hands-on interaction with others, and it simply wouldn’t be cheer without it. 

On top of the physical restrictions the pandemic imposed upon cheer, games looked very different with the absence of students. 

‘“The season was a little different because we had to wear masks and social distance, but I think the biggest difference to previous years was the crowd,” said junior, Haley Jonnelle.

Evidently, without many spectators being in person to watch the games this season, it’s discouraging for the team, especially when their goal is to motivate everyone and hype up the audience. 

“There were some parents in the crowds and the only students, if any, were siblings of other students at the game. It was a bummer not having students to cheer towards or to cheer with us. We miss having everyone in the student section cheering with us this year,” said Jonnelle. 

Despite not being able to have a full season of games, everyone found their way in making the best out of the times they were allowed to be on the sidelines, continuing to make memories while being limited. If anything, the restrictions also strengthened the team’s chemistry as it tested them in taking advantage of their time together. 

“Some of the most memorable things from this year were the football games we were able to cheer at. We were so happy that we were able to cheer at them and because of that the energy was really high and we had a lot of fun,” said Wolf. 

“I think this year, as tough as it was, really helped our team bond and I am thankful we were able to have the fun times that we did.”

With lots of gratitude and a successful finish, cheer was able to get back on the field this season and spread enthusiasm through these strange times. School spirit is something we are all hungry for right now, and thanks to cheer it’s finally coming back, better than ever.