Aside from attending every Friday night football game, pep rallies, senior nights, and both boys and girls basketball games, the cheerleaders have a whole different side to their sport. It is not often that cheerleaders and their competitions are discussed. Popular sports like football and basketball get most of the fans and glory.
Cheerleaders start their season with tryouts in May and finish with their last competition in March. During that ten month season, cheerleaders have three months, starting in January, dedicated to attending cheerleading competitions almost every weekend. These competitions are anywhere from Danbury, Quinnipiac, Griswold and even one coming up at EHHS on February 29th. Senior cheerleader Megan Fucci stated, ”I definitely wish more people would come out to support my team. I feel like it would help us compete to our full potential.” Getting more fans to a competition could help give the team more encouragement and bring up the energy and confidence to make our cheerleaders feel good while taking the mat.
Cheerleaders attend many sport/school events to cheer everyone on or perform some sort of routine, but who goes out of their way to support the cheerleaders? At their competitions cheerleaders perform a 2 ½-minute routine that they spend almost their whole season working to perfect. Junior cheerleader Sophia Speringo says, “We practice for competition whenever possible before, during, or after basketball games, along with any time during the week.” The cheerleaders routine includes: advanced stunts, a cheer, jumps, pyramid, tumbling, and a dance. There are many requirements that have to be met for a cheerleading routine to score well at a competition and our EHHS cheerleaders work hard for that every year.
Ms. Michelle Maru, cheerleading coach for 13 years, and Ms. Krista Anania, cheerleading coach for 8 years, have agreed that cheerleading has changed immensely since when they were cheerleaders in high school. “Cheerleading has definitely changed since I was in high school. It is much more competitive and a lot more challenging with all of the skills that need to be performed,” Ms. Anania stated. Cheerleading is a hard and competitive sport that many people don’t value.
Getting more fans to come out and support our cheerleaders at competitions could really help change how people view the sport, along with how the girls on the team feel about being cheerleaders. Come see the cheerleaders compete on February 29th at EHHS.