Rallies, Routines, and Rooting for the Team!


Taylor Mathews and Dahanara Jojoa

Sports fanatics go to watch their favorite football teams play. They may glimpse at the cheerleaders performing, but many do not know the work they put into each routine.

Coach Rafferty took almost two months to perfect the pep rally routine and when they compete—which they aren’t doing this year—it can take up to 3 months to create the routine.

It took us about a month and a half to put together our pep rally routine. When we compete, it takes around 3 months to create a perfect competition routine,” she said.

When they do compete, they practice one more time to see if they really got it down—which, most of the time, they do.

Stunting and doing tricks can be tiring because it takes a lot of muscle and practice to make sure the flyer doesn’t fall to the ground. The bases and flyers are chosen based on strength.

“Many of the girls on the team can fill multiple positions,” Coach Rafferty said. “To base, you need to have a lot of leg and upper body strength, to fly, you need to have body control and core strength, and to back, you need to be tall and have a lot of arm strength.”

This allows for team mobility and lets the girls experience different things.

Sophomore Samantha Winter really enjoys doing cheer and is very happy she joined. “I’m so glad I’ve had the opportunity to cheer,” she said. “Being a part of the team and seeing all our hard work pay off is amazing.”

Although Samantha likes being on the team, she thinks it can be quite difficult sometimes. “There are times when cheer can be very difficult,” she said. “Stunting takes lots of muscle, so after a while, it can get tiring during practice. It’s all worth it though because, in the end, we’re happy to have a routine we’re all proud of!” 

The team isn’t competing next season but will continue to work towards next years competitions.

“The team isn’t competing this year, but we’re going to keep practicing for next year’s competition season,” said Cameron Maxwell, a fellow sophomore cheerleader. “I’m confident that we will have an amazing season next year since we have so much time to improve and learn more challenging stunts. We aren’t competing this season because the captains will miss a competition, but I think if we were competing we would do well.”

In practice, they keep a good environment and good energy. Coach Rafferty feels like the team is very good with their routines, but believes that they could be better with their mentality.

I think each individual on the team could benefit from having a more positive attitude,” she said. “Sometimes we get frustrated too easily when things don’t go our way. We need to understand that success takes hard work and dedication.”