Athens cheerleaders jump back into season

Athens+Drive+High+School+cheerleaders+team+celebrating+their+captains+win+Homecoming+Queen%2C+Eliza+Magana.

Photos by Morgan DeYoung

Athens Drive High School cheerleaders team celebrating their captain’s win Homecoming Queen, Eliza Magana.

Athens Drive’s varsity cheer team has shown a lot of resilience and hard work this past year and a half. According to the world encyclopedia,  cheerleading is “a sport involving the performance of organized cheering, chanting, and dancing in support of a sports team at games.” Despite it being defined as a sport, “cheerleading isn’t taken seriously by many people,” said Keira Reed.

The Athens Drives cheerleading squad focuses on stunting, tumbling, dance and cheer routines. The teams (months, year, weeks) of quarantine have impacted their performance, limiting their ability to learn choreography and pull of stunts from prior seasons. 

“There’s a big difference of where you should be compared to where you are because of not really stunting all of last year,” said Coach Morgan DeYoung. 

Stunting requires a lot of teamwork, determination and physical and mental strength. Most stunt groups do not hit a stunt on the first try or even on the 5th try because the bases have to be in sync and the flyer has to be tight at all times, even when it seems like the stunt is failing. 

“We practice the routine and stunting for a solid hour out of two hours, on and off all practice,” said Coach Morgan. 

The team practices from 2:30 to 4:30 everyday other than gamedays, which are typically on Fridays. 

Daily Cheerleading practices consist of running, stretching, and a lot of stunting. They work on any cheers or dances and routines for games or pep rallies, then the rest of the time is spent on stunting and the competition routine. 

Practices for the most part are still operating normally aside from wearing masks and having to be more cautious regarding Covid-19 contractions. Athens cheerleaders are passionate about cheerleading. A mask and some precautions mean nothing to them as long as they are able to continue doing what they love. 

“There is nothing I would change about how this season is going,” said Kiera Reed, varsity cheerleader.