From the laps run around the track after dropping stunts in the bright sun to the Friday nights spent under the field’s bright lights, there is a lot more to cheerleading than the average football fan sees.
Varsity cheerleader Ella V Cooper said, “We spend roughly three hours a day practicing,” along with doing things like leading younger girls at the Wesleyan cheerleading camps, painting huge run-through signs, and working tirelessly to perfect cheer and dance routines.
“My favorite cheer to do is a cheer called “back it up.” I love that cheer, because it is easy to do; it is super catchy and fun,” said sophomore Jordyn Shackford.
Wesleyan has four different cheerleading teams to go with each of our football teams. The two middle school teams are the seventh and eighth grade teams and the high school teams consist of JV and Varsity.
JV cheerleader Jordyn Shackford said, “My favorite part of cheerleading is definitely the team. We really bond throughout the season, and it is really fun just being able to get the crowd pumped up with friends!” Head JV Coach Brittany Haverty said her favorite part of coaching is “working with and getting to know the cheerleaders! It is really fun to be a Lower School teacher, and have to opportunity to get to know so many of the high school girls! Watching the cheerleaders grow in their skill and as young women throughout their high school career is great to watch.”
All four teams attend all-squad practices on Mondays where they meet in “princess groups”. The girls from all four teams are separated into groups based off of their personalities, which also match the personality of a Disney princess.
After meeting in their groups they usually share a devotion, do jumps and go over cheers all together before they break into their teams.
A major part of cheerleading is team work, whether it is in “princess groups” or on individual teams. “I absolutely love when the cheerleaders work together to accomplish their goals. Cheerleading is very much a team sport. Although, we don’t compete, we have our own victories at every practice and every game,” said Haverty.
Although princess groups, practices and painting signs are fun, nothing compares to the feeling a cheerleader gets on the sidelines of a football game.
“The main reason I cheer is to be part of the Friday night light experience along with the band! Getting the student section and the rest of the crowd hyped up is so exciting,” said Ella V. Cooper.
As the whole school gets ready for Friday night football games, the cheerleaders have been putting in hours of practice and work to make this season one of the best!