Interest in Cheerleading Reaches an All-Time High


Aliana Washington

Junior Abby Mefford, freshman Linnea Vaughn, and junior Marie Burks performing at the first football game of the school year.

Vannia Duarte-Camacho, Managing Editor

Benson High School’s gym has become a ThunderDome for three days. Out of the 40 girls that try out for the squad, half of them will go home with nothing but rejection and tears.
They will never see the pom poms that were meant for them ever again.
Cheerleading is one of the most recognizable sports in any high school setting.
Nearly every school has their own squad of ladies and gents cheering on the athletes at sporting events and games.
The requirements for being a cheerleader are challenging and require a great amount of work.
Not just anyone can pass the tryouts and become one and the competition is strong.
“You spend hours practicing and perfecting routines, skills and cheers,” junior Abigail Mefford said. “I would say my team puts a lot more into cheerleading than your average high school team because we stunt and compete, not just cheer football and basketball games.”
Those who want to try out for cheerleading can expect to learn the basics and get a taste of what the sport is like.
“Applicants will learn a series of jumps, chants, and a short music routine,” Haas said.
Cheerleading is not only hard work, but it can be pricey for many high school students.
Like many sports, there are fees to pay to be a member of the squad.
“Cheerleading is an expensive sport,” freshman Jocelyn Chairez said. “There’s a lot of money that goes into it.”
The cost of cheerleading covers uniforms, from the bow to the socks, pom poms, the bags, cheer camp and everything else required for a cheerleader.
“For a new cheerleader, the cost is close to $1,000,” cheerleading coach Tori Haas said. “For a veteran cheerleader, it’s closer to $600.”
While the price may be a hindrance for many high school students, the cheerleaders have found ways to pay for their dues.
This includes fundraising, getting a job, running concessions and having parents pay for part of it.
“Cheerleading can be a bit pricey, but there are more than a handful of opportunities to raise money for your expenses,” Mefford said. “Some of our cheerleaders fund raised more than half of their expenses!”
While some decide to pay out of pocket, others decide to take another route to keep up with their hefty fees.
“We do a lot of fundraisers and work concessions during games to pay it off.” junior Lavander Williams said.
All their hard work pays off and shines through in their competitions.
The cheerleading squad will be competing at state on February 16 in Grand Island, Nebraska.