Cheerleading: The Truth

Deven Meddaugh, Reporter

Since back in the day, cheerleaders have been seen as the icon of high schools.  When you watch movies, they make it seem like these girls are living the high life- with their fancy cars, to their prissy attitude that’s as short as their skirts, not to mention that they practically run the school.  But the problem is that these films have put a bad picture into our heads about our fellow peers, and after some research, it seems that the life of a cheerleader may not be all that it’s cracked up to be. Now, we can finally take an inside look into the daily lives of the most spirited students at PHS: our cheer team.

For most of us after school, we either get in our cars or board the bus and head home. Then we might have a snack, do some homework, then go on our phones or watch TV, or go outside and toss a football. But for cheerleaders, when that clock changes to 2:00 pm they head straight to the locker rooms, hours of practice awaiting them. Similar to modeling, people with biased opinions may think that all cheerleaders do is sit around looking pretty. But this is not the case, as discovered when watching the girls’ practice.

Walking in on their practice truly makes one feel warm and fuzzy inside, and it brings a smile to the face. They all gather around their coaches, some holding hands and snuggling, others whispering to each other and giggling. The bond was so strong it seemed, it was contagious. Amber Adams is now a senior at Pen High, and is a member of the varsity cheer squad. When asked what her favorite part of the sport was, her answer was enough to make the heart melt.

“I just really love the people. Since this group spends so much time together [practically the whole summer], it allows us all to really get to know each other and everyone is just so sweet, and they have the kindest hearts and we’re all just one big family and I would do anything for them I love them so much.” Haylie Gallacher, junior, added to the comment by saying how her cheerleading family helped her make connections and that some of her senior friends that have now graduated still keep in touch. “The friends you make in high school really are the friends you’ll have forever,” she said.

Everyone has their own opinion about everything, and we may not always agree with one another. In this case, that is especially true. After talking to a few of the girls about the reactions they received when their peers, family, or community found out they were cheering, and there was a lot of 50/50 responses.

“It depends on the person you talk to,” said Saidey Wood, a junior on the varsity team. “Some react very badly to the fact, others, who are usually your more matured millennials or adults, are really curious and are always interested in what I have to say about it.”

Kaytlin Edwards (sophomore), however, does not receive the same reaction from people. She said that most have a closed mind about it and always think stereotypically. “They say that I’m really rude, but yet they make no effort to see past me on the outside and get to know me on the inside.” Angelina Winslow, freshman and role model for her little sister who cheers for PYC, agrees with her team mates. “Some people are pretty cool about it. They’re curious and ask questions. But others just say we’re rude. Those are the people who talk smack about us because they fail to see the time and effort that is put into what we do, just as they would in their sport, whether it be football or basketball or whatever.”

It’s sad, knowing some of the stuff that is said about these ladies, and it’s sad how unaware some people are of the support that our cheerleaders give to us, whether it be students or staff. But it’s time we start appreciating them more, and the things they do for us- big or small. These girls show empathy to us and this school, and because of their hard work and commitment this season, the team will be traveling to Nationals in Orlando, Florida. Knowing these girls and the time and effort that is put into everything they do is truly eye-opening. They spend countless hours and endless amounts of energy making the world a better place by doing what they do best- cheer. Our lady Seahawks are the mind, body, and spirit of Peninsula, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!