Every cheerleader gets fired up when someone asks the “Is cheerleading a sport?” question. Whether it’s a football player in one of your classes, a teacher who talks down about cheerleading, or a friend who doesn’t understand why you’re not involved in something else “more athletic,” you want people to know that cheerleaders are athletes.
When people think of cheerleading they think of the stereotypical cheerleader; an annoying girl on the sidelines cheering on the football players having no idea what’s going on. We are not that. We are hard working team that came in 4th at Sectionals for Nassau County.
It’s not just cheering on the sidelines anymore, it’s becoming a vast competition sport. We are flipping girls ten feet or more in the air. We have to be gymnast, bodybuilders and dancers. All of these disciplines are an essential part of being a cheerleader. We give up weekends, work through injuries, give up vacations and all for two and a half minutes on the mat in front of eight judges trying to attain that perfect score.
Our coach, Coach Chaback was a cheerleader at Oceanside High School and came back to the sidelines not as a cheerleader but as a varsity coach. She wants her team to be strong and successful. When asked about the team and her first year as a varsity coach says “I think we learned that it’s not about having the best athletes. It’s about having the most dedicated people who can work towards a common goal. That’s what brought us the most success this year”.
A unified team is the key to everything. The season begins in April and it finally completed at the end of February. Captains have a diverse responsibility as hard workers, honest teammates, respectful competitors and motivational leaders, but still be a cheerleader at heart. Due to all the different personalities and different goals, we had to stay united and positive as a team in order to support each other. Working together not only did we grow as athletes and people, but we each had a hand in creating a successful team!
When you see a cheerleader on the sidelines, don’t think of that annoying girl jumping up and down. Remember we are gymnast, bodybuilders and dancers who endure the bumps, bruises and falls of the season in order to rise and show our support for our school.