Cheerleading returns as an activity after ten years

Taylor Rogers, Staff Writer

The last time Red Knight cheerleaders donned skirts and pompoms to pump up the crowd at home football games was about ten years ago, but this year 11 girls from all grades will be flipping, tumbling and cheering the Red Knights to victory.

After seeing who would be interested in cheerleading, Mr. Pettinger, the athletic director, decided to add it as a program. “About 15-20 girls said they would be interested in it so that is what got us looking in that direction,” Mr. Pettinger said.

In August the team held tryouts and summer practice like every other athletic team, and during the school year they have practice from four to six, twice a week. “We had tryouts on the 13 and 14 of August, after that until school we practiced every day for two hours except Thursday and Friday,” senior Precious Walker said.

Although many sports and activities fill the school after the final bell rings, Mr. Pettinger was able to squeeze in a spot for the cheerleading team to practice in the auxiliary gym. “Even though we sweat bucket loads, it is nice because they have the mats, which give us support on our feet,” Walker said.

It was rumored that the girls did not cheer at the first two home games because their uniforms were out of dress code, but their absence was actually because the uniforms were not correctly sized. “We could not cheer because [the uniforms] were not wearable. Literally, if I stood up, my skirt would fall straight to the ground,” junior Lea Ale said.

Friday, September 14 will be the team’s first game, but they are not sure how long the season will last. “We are for sure cheering at every football game, but we might also cheer at the basketball games this winter,” freshman Rachel Long said.

As of now there are 11 girls on the cheerleading team, but the number keeps growing. In coming years, the team hopes to grow in size and potentially compete against other schools. “On the roster online there are eight girls, but three girls just joined last week,” said Walker.