Cheering is More Than Cheering


Kaleigh Jones

Not many students and faculty members know how much work and dedication goes into the competitive cheer season for the WHS Cheerleaders.

Competitive cheer is when cheer squads compete against each other at a competition with judges. Teams usually perform a two-and-a-half-minute routine with music that includes stunts, jumps, and tumbling—judges reward (or take points away) from cheer teams based on difficulty and execution.

Our WHS Cheerleaders hard work paid off and brought home 2nd place silver metals at the NCA High School National Cheer Competition in Dallas.

Jesus Maya, a senior at WHS who has been cheering for four years now, explains that the most challenging aspect of competitive cheer would have to be people’s attitudes throughout practices and in school. He explains that it can be challenging to be in a positive mindset and accomplish new skills when others create “negative energy” throughout the room.

Meanwhile, another cheerleader, senior Sydney Nelson, who has been cheering for three years, says the more challenging part of competitive cheer would be the physical exhaustion that comes from “running the practices over and over and over” for hours at a time. Some of their practices even interfere with some class time.

Aside from all the hard work, Casey Watson, the head coach of the WHS Cheer Program, said what division they compete in, the scoring, and how the competitions work in more detail for those who don’t understand.

“Now that we have enough male cheerleaders in the program, we compete in the Coed division,” Coach Watson said. “And judging is based on three categories: band chant, crowd leading, and fight song. And those are all separate in the preliminary divisions.”

Then in the finals, they’re all together, and cheer counts as 50 percent, so they run them in practice the same way.

“We’ll run prelims, and then we get to the point where we run finals,” Coach Watson said.

Watson and the other cheerleaders are counting on students and faculty to come and support them as they compete in competitive cheer events from November through February.