From My View For Nov. 8
With all the hoopla surrounding the fall sports – and with the wrestling, boys and girls basketball sports nearing – we’ve been remiss in acknowledging a sport that lasts through all seasons… Cheerleading.
Cheerleading runs through the fall and into the winter. These athletes don’t get a break.
Cheerleading is more than just a group – of mostly girls – cheering at football and basketball games.
Cheerleading plays a role in physical activities, such as stunting. The athletes also compete against other high schools’ cheerleaders in competition that the WVSSAC puts on every November, which was held this past weekend at East Fairmont High School.
The primary purpose of the competition is a comparison of different skills that all squads must adhere too, that is judged by many different people, including former cheerleaders and cheer coaches. Most of our area squads go that extra mile and perform at regional and conference contests, like the OVAC and other conferences as well.
Back in 2011, USA Cheer – the national governing body for sport cheering – launched the sport of stunt, which combines all of the many athletic skills from cheering to dancing, tumbling, as well as other skills to numerous to mention.
Some cheerleaders also participate in other sports as well – like basketball and volleyball. Sometimes these athletes have to pick one sport. Because of this, many coaches have a policy that you can only participate in one sport, and if it’s cheerleading, it hurts the cheerleading team the most.
Cheerleading is more of a team sport than all the others. When a cheerleader misses a competition, nine times out of 10, the team will either have to change the routine or do it without, and judges will start deducting points, with no chance to place or win a competition.
You think the sport is easy? You need to watch a practice. A cheerleader, at times, must lift up a teammate who is her size – or bigger – and hold her up in the air and do a full stunt sequence without dropping her, and actually catch her. It has been proven, over and over, that cheerleading is a dangerous sport.
When the cheerleaders are in competition mode, you can see the determination in their eyes, as they focus in what they have been practicing for months. They still give a killer of a smile.
Cheerleaders must lean on each other all the times, and rehearse, rehearse and rehearse some more. I’m sure they don’t want to rehearse from time to time. Maybe it’s because of a fight they might have had with someone dear to them, but still they must focus and cheer.
I’m sure they put a strain on their knees and legs, along with their backs. It’s just hard, in most cases, and there are some that don’t rehearse and participate in competitions. And that’s cool too. I understand the importance of teamwork, and they won’t compete because of many different rules, that the team, coach, school or the conference may sanction.
However, I hate to say, there are teams don’t want to participate because they don’t have enough bodies to do a competition, or money to have someone to help them with the routine and music. But, I do believe some don’t want to lose, while some don’t want to put in the time, but I hope I’m wrong.
The fear factor about falling, during throws, is in play. It may only be a few minutes in the routine, but it’s action-packed for most of the competition. The cheerleaders still smile and look happy.
Cheerleading ranges from chanting, to intense physical activity, and energetic dance routines that involve tumbling, jumps, and more.