Sophomore trains for cheering

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Sophomore trains for cheering

Sophomore Emma Andrews completes a cheer routine.

Sophomore Emma Andrews completes a cheer routine.

Tracy Skala

Sophomore Emma Andrews completes a cheer routine.

Tracy Skala

Tracy Skala

Sophomore Emma Andrews completes a cheer routine.

Ofelia Yeghiyan, Guest Writer

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Sophomore Emma Andrews is a JV cheerleader who seeks to continuously improve in her career.

Her current aspiration is to make varsity next year. She said, “[I want to make varsity] because I’ve been cheering since I was in second grade and I really love it and I just want to keep going with it.”

She explained that her motivation stems from her peers. “Just seeing all these people and all these other girls doing really good, building up their skills… I want to try to do the same and just keep getting better,” she said.

Although there was some competitive motivation as well, Andrews said there “wasn’t too much”.

In order to improve her skills, she practices outside of school and takes tumbling classes. “I take a tumbling class on Sundays morning. It’s a private lesson and he teaches me to stretch more and improve my jumps and how to go about things different ways and stuff like that,” she said.

Although these classes aren’t currently necessary, they soon will be, as she said, “You don’t have to be able to tumble to be a cheerleader in high school, but moving on to like college you’re going to have to be able to tumble and do stuff and I want to [cheer] in college so I need to learn that skill. Better here than later.”

However, Andrews noted that cheer comes with its difficulties, one being the weight of memorizing and perfectly carrying out all the routines. “You have to learn a lot at once. We learn a lot of cheers and we learn a lot of dances and stuff, and you have to get them all perfect and everything, and that’s kind of difficult sometimes if you forget a cheer, but we spend a lot of time learning it, so everybody seems to always get by,” she said.

On the other hand, Andrews commented that she finds thrill in the halftime dances she performs at the football games. “[My favorite part of cheer is] the halftime dances. I like to dance, but I never really got into dance classes, so I like how there’s that aspect of cheer as well so I can do both [tumbling and dancing],” she said.

Of the cheer experience, Andrews explained that a prevalent aspect of being on the team was the closeness of the team. They spend quality time together in order to form a bond, even outside of practices and games.

Andrews said, “We have sleepovers sometimes at other people’s houses. We will just plan it a few weeks ahead and then do fun games and stuff and watch movies, and in the summer, we do a huge sleepover with all three squads.”

While she considers cheer time-consuming, she finds the positive experiences she acquires easily offset these cons. “[Cheer] takes up a lot of time when I do it, but it’s worth it because I just like to cheer people on and cheer for the sports teams and support my school and it’s also just fun,” she said.

Summarizing her sophomore season and outlining her next steps, Andrews said, “Cheer season was a great experience and I can’t wait to continue in the future and keep on practicing. Making varsity is my current goal and I’m working harder than ever to achieve it.”

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