"Cheerleaders are stupid, blonde, and have nothing better to do than follow boys around and scream rhyming words whenever somebody scores a point". I absolutely believed that stereotype when I first moved to Big Timber my 8th grade year. I could never have imagined I would end up on the Herder Cheer Squad and end up loving it. And here’s seven reasons why you will see me leading the crowd until I graduate:
You know those really good games, the one where it comes down to a single second and the student sections are screaming and the noise combined would be enough to blow a hearing aid? I love those games. The crowd responds to us as we start chants and cheers, trying to spur our team on to victory. And there’s no feeling quite like succeeding in that effort.
The cheer team gets to stand right next to the court and see and hear a lot of things people in the bleachers can’t. While that means I get to hear a lot more cuss words, it also means I get to see the emotions of the players, whether good or bad. I will never personally know what it feels like to hit a three or shoot game-winning free throws, but it’s pretty cool to watch the girls and boy team get to experience that.
Everyday at practice, my team and I catch our fliers, and a lot of times take a pretty good beating when they fall on us. But at the end of the day, we pick ourselves up and nail that stunt for the crowd. With taped ankles and wrists, we put ourselves up in the air with a smile,
I never thought I’d be lifting people in the air or would have a memory stocked with cheers and dances that I could pull on a second’s notice. I had to learn to think fast, be a leader without being mean, and to never ever spill grease on your uniform because it will not come out. Ever.
I am an incredibly loud person. My whisper is the average person’s inside voice. But at cheer practice, I’ve gotten told I’m not loud enough! In cheer, I have found a spot that appreciates the power of my vocal cords and their ability to be heard across a gym. Who would have ever known that would have come in handy?
There is nothing I love more than walking over to the parent section and leading a cheer. The parents will stand up and yell with me. No one is more invested in the people on the court than their own parents, and it’s something else to watch the parents rise as one to cheer on their kids.
People assume that the cheer squad has a lot of drama, and I guess to an extent it has to be true. Things don’t run perfectly with a squad of 18 girls. Feelings get hurt, fights start, etc. But at the end of the year, it’s bittersweet. Realizing you won’t have the same people cheering by your side next year is something that doesn't hit you until it’s too late. You build memories with your team, you learn their quirks, their annoyances, their likes and dislikes, and you share a lot of hours of your life with them. And when it comes down to it, I wouldn't want it to be with anyone else.