Where are the Cheerleaders?
Lizzie Ford ’16
Don’t get me wrong, S.I. has spirit. I see this immense appreciation for our school in many forms, especially the respect we have for our teachers and peers. We demonstrate this by making posters for our friends at sporting events, or applauding at fine arts performances. This spirit pulses through the veins of the S.I. community, especially during the Bruce season. On the other hand, if I am truly honest with myself, something is missing. I have felt this absence for a while now, but I truly realized it at the football rally. When the sophomore council members tired to lead cheers, our posters and enthusiasm were met with blank faces from students in the stands. It was then that I knew. S.I. needs cheerleaders.
What about the girls and boys who don’t play sports? Shouldn’t there be a spirit activity for them that allows them to express school spirit in a way other than scoring a goal or breaking a swimming record? What about the Fine Arts students who want to support athletics? Wouldn’t using their artistic talents as cheerleaders create a stronger mix of the two “worlds?”
Counselor Donna Murphy comments on the evolution of cheerleading at S.I., saying, “At one point in time S.I. had a yell-leading team. The school administration wanted to keep with the tradition of yell leaders and incorporated coeds into that. The school didn’t want to put the girls in the traditional role of cheerleaders in fear that it may have been deemed sexist. Dance and Drill was formed over the years in order to have a half-time dancing component.”
SCU senior Kristen Lee still fondly remembers her three years as a cheerleader and the positive effect that the squad had on many. “The group of boys and girls who are chosen to be cheerleaders must exhibit leadership and set good examples for others. At Cheerleading will always be an integral part of sports. SCU, the cheer squad was involved with community service events, charity fundraisers, and school events. Giving back to the community was a large role of being an SCU cheerleader,” she claims. Lee also agrees that cheerleading cannot be deemed sexist because, “the sport includes both male and female participants and treats both sexes as equals.”
Whether we want cheerleaders at S.I. or not, one must admit that S.I. needs a spirit makeover. I personally believe that the introduction of cheerleaders would jumpstart a surge of school spirit that would not only be palpable in the stands, but also in our everyday lives. If we truly are S.I., as we proudly chant at games, then we should willingly welcome a new form of wildcat pride.
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