Cheerleaders balance school with rigorous basketball season


Gabby Velotta

The basketball cheerleaders perform their dance during halftime at the home game vs South on Tuesday, Dec. 14.

Hannah Birnbaum, Staff Writer

While having a busy schedule of 22 basketball games throughout the season, the cheerleaders are trying to coordinate cheerleading with their other activities, school work, and jobs.

Senior Adriana Valletta, who is a four-year member of the cheerleading squad as well as a competitive dancer, knows that she has to use her limited free time wisely. “I have to make sure that I give myself time to work on everything that is necessary for each activity. Sometimes it can be challenging but it helps me in the long run so I’m more prepared for the future,” she said.

Senior Brynlee Stoll, a member of the girl’s soccer team and a two-year member of the basketball cheer squad, sometimes struggles to find time to complete her schoolwork. She said, “The feeling of not having enough hours in the day has to be the hardest. I sometimes find myself overwhelmed with the amount of school work on top of getting home around 9:30pm from either work or cheer during the week.”

Junior Grace Lanzara, who has been cheering since her freshman year, admits that she becomes unmotivated after a long day. “[Being busy] doesn’t really become a problem until I have to do my school work because by the time I can do it, I am so tired from a long day,” she said.

With having a busy dance and cheer schedule, Valletta notices differences from football to basketball season with her level of busyness. She said, “For football we practiced once a week and had a game once a week, and with dance I was only going twp times a week because we didn’t start our competition dances yet. With basketball season, it has been much harder as we have two games a week and a practice every week, and I’m at dance three to four times a week at the moment.”

Stoll knows doing her school work is necessary, so she always pushes herself, even if it means staying up late. “I do have W1 block free so some days I will just wake up early and get my homework done than if I am feeling too tired late at night. My planner and Google Calendar have been a lifesaver to schedule and keep track of all of my assignments,” she said.

Valletta says that the hardest part about her busy schedule is having almost no free time to relax. “Don’t get me wrong, I love having a busy schedule [because] I’m never bored, but it can sometimes be overwhelming. I am always on the run and feel I don’t get to have as much fun with my friends and family as I would like to,” she said.

Lanzara admits that going from football to basketball season was a big change in time commitment. “[Football season] was only one practice and one game per week so I had a lot more time to myself and to do schoolwork. Basketball is two games per week with practices and if I want any time on the weekends to see my friends and family, I have to fill my open weekdays by working,” she said.

Although Stoll has had challenges when trying to balance her busy schedule, she has found a solution of using a planner to become more efficient. She said, “I have learned to just turn my phone on Do Not Disturb when I’m doing homework so I actually can focus. I have also become so much more organized with the amount of different activities I do, as it’s a necessity.”

Even though Lanzara knows it is tough to balance cheerleading with other activities sometimes, she admits that it is definitely worth the struggle. She said, “Although balancing a schedule can be challenging, it’s worth it because of the enjoyment and lifelong friendships that I get from cheer. Plus, it is definitely helping with my time management skills.”