Behind the Scenes of Cheerleading
Story by Isabelle Flood – Staff Reporter
Cheerleading is a sport that often goes unnoticed, but the 2023 varsity cheer team is hoping to demand some attention at regionals and state.
“I am looking forward to competing at state, it is a time that we get to have fun with our team and show off what we have been working towards all year,” Elise Coleman, senior, said.
Coleman has had many memories from her four years on the cheer team, but she is still reminiscing about the state win from last year’s cheer team.
“My favorite memory of high school cheer would definitely be winning state with my team last year. It was such an amazing feeling and I’m so glad I got to experience it with my best friends,” Coleman said.
The bonds of best friends through sports is something that can never be replaced. While the upperclassmen on the team have been together for a few years now, the underclassmen are starting to bond as well.
“I would say I’m just equally as close with everyone,” Whitney McWillie, freshman, said.
Meaningful relationships can come from multiple places, not just the teammates. Ashley Forte, head varsity cheer coach, has made an impact on her athletes.
“My head cheer coach Ashley Forte has made the most significant impact on me. She has been there for me when I had no one else to go to. I am forever grateful for her and all that she has done,” Coleman said.
Having relationships with your teammates and coaches is very important, especially when things get stressful. The fall season can be overwhelming for cheerleaders with football games and preparations for regionals.
“Most stressful thing so far has been learning and feeling like we are rushing for regionals,” McWillie said.
With McWillie being the only freshman on varsity, she really had to prove herself to her teammates and coaches that she was an asset to the team.
“Being the only freshman on varsity was really scary because I started off not knowing really anything while everyone else knew what they were doing,” McWillie said.
Although McWillie had a big challenge to tackle being the only freshman, the upperclassmen have been impressed with her addition to the team.
“I love Whitney… I have gotten a lot closer to her as the season had gone on and she is a great addition to the team,” Coleman said.
The seniors hold high standards for the underclassmen to set their legacy. For her final season, Coleman is still making memories.
“If I could describe my time on the team for the past four years, I would say unforgettable. I will remember all of my years on this team for the rest of my life,” Coleman said.
The cheer season is still far from over for the 2023-2024 team, and they hope to continue their season with success on their side.
Photo by Kate Gerding