Cheerleaders: Athletes Behind Friday Night Lights

State High Cheerleaders chanting the Lets get fired up cheer.
State High Cheerleaders chanting the “Let’s get fired up” cheer.
Katie M

When people think of Friday Night Lights the first thing that comes to mind is football, but the real athletes behind our Friday Night Lights are The Little Lion Cheerleaders. Some people never really think about the cheerleaders and how much effort they really put into their cheers and their routines. 

Being a cheerleader requires a strict set of traits that many people do not have. 

Zeyla Webber, a State High junior, has been cheering for six years. 

“People don’t understand what all goes into it. People just think we are just girls with pom-poms that shake our butts and wave to the audience but it is so much more than that,” Webber said. 

Cheerleaders do so much more than yell cheers and shake pom-poms. They put together intense and thought-out routines and practice very powerful stunts including basket tosses, the pyramid and various flips and jumps. Many of these stunts are dangerous and can cause fatal injuries if not performed perfectly 

“No one understands how hard it is to do some of these stunts, all of our most well known stunts require us literally throwing a human life in the air and catching them,” Webber said.

Many cheerleaders have expressed that they feel invisible when they are cheering on the sidelines. 

Reese Fisher, a State High junior, has only been cheering for a year.  

“People treat us like we are invisible during football games. We are the symbol of school spirit. We deserve way more attention and appreciation than we get,” Fisher said. 

Cheerleading is one of the only sports at State High that does not get recognized as much as it should. Many people believe that cheerleading does not get recognized as much as it should within the State High community. Multiple cheerleaders admitted to feeling invisible and under appreciated, whether that was by students or by other sport teams. Many people do not realize just how much effort this team puts into their sport.

The effort that goes into cheer isn’t showcased as much as it is with other sports. During their competition season, little to no students attend, therefore all the effort that is put into their stunts and routines are not as noticed. Their competitions are what showcase how much effort and how hard they work. 

Kayla Binkley, a State High junior, has been participating in cheer for 12 years.

“Competitions are the exciting part of cheerleading, and it is a shame that no one gets to experience our competitions first hand,” Binkley said. 

Cheer appears as a boring sport because most people don’t get the opportunity to see all of the exciting parts. The team wishes more people would make attempts to support them at their competitions and even when they are doing sideline cheer by cheering alongside them. The team hopes that cheer will eventually gain as much support as other sports do at State High. 

Our cheerleaders do so much for the school and they deserve the recognition. 

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