Cheer up

In almost every high school movie and at other schools, being a cheerleader is a huge honor. A cheerleader is the epitome of school spirit. However, because the Cheer Team is seen as a joke at our school, this is not true for us. I think it is necessary that cheerleaders become more of a spirit head of our school.

This is my second year on the cheer team and it is not at all what I imagined it would be. I had always thought that cheerleaders led cheers. Isn’t that the definition of the word? At our school, though, the team does our cheers and is really only joined by a truly enthusiastic crowd during “Wolverines in the Front.” As a team, we try to help boost school spirit by leading cheers for every situation, but we are very often drowned out by the Fanatics’ own chants and drums.

Because we as a team are not respected or viewed as a real sport we cannot do our jobs efficiently. If no one takes the cheerleaders seriously, why should they listen? I have told friends in the past that I was really tired and therefore not looking forward to practice and they responded by saying, “well it won’t be that bad since it isn’t a real sport.”

In reality though, we are a “real” hardworking sport. Year round, we run, stretch and condition just like any other team. Some may make the argument that we don’t compete, but we dance and do stunts, and are a part of the football and basketball games. Maybe there’s no risk of the cheer team losing a game or having the glory of winning, but with stunts there’s always the risk of getting hurt, and the glory of the crowd cheering for and with us.

People, however, choose to see the cheer team here as a “joke,” and because of that they refuse to let us be a source of school spirit. I’m not denying that as a school we have spirit, but I am saying the school should see us as a foundation for that spirit.

The Fanatics are great; they’re super spirited and for the most part, they support us. If I weren’t a cheerleader, I would most definitely join the club. But being so school—spirited, shouldn’t they let the cheerleaders, or H-W Spirit as I believe we are officially named, be a bigger part in rooting the team on? The Fanatics is a great institution, but by bringing chants and cheers to the games aren’t they completely shutting us out and from the start stopping us from being cheerleaders and leading cheers?

There is a well known quote that describes what cheerleaders do: “Simply because we do not run across goal lines, slam dunk basketballs, or hit homeruns, doesn’t mean we can’t change the score.” Cheerleaders do make a difference, if you let them.

So next time you question our athleticism as a team, or go to the game and begin to overpower our cheer with your own chant or “Wolverines in the Front” for the third time in the quarter, remember cheerleaders are athletes. Remember the cheer team’s job is to boost and lead school spirit, which we will proudly do, if you only give us the chance.