Cheer is a sport, and cheerleaders are athletes


Whitnie Larsen

Cheerleaders feel as though they have been overlooked for years, and they are pushing for support.

Whitnie Larsen, Sports Editor

WHEN STUDENTS think about Granger’s football team, they may or may not think about those cheering the team on on the sidelines. Not the fans—the cheerleaders. They have been there every game, yet everyone seems to leave them out or forget that they even exist. Some hope that something will change soon and that the cheer team will get the recognition they feel they deserve.

Carlie Durland (12) is the cheer captain for the 2021-22 school year. “When you look at all the movies, you see how big cheerleaders are. Then you look at us and no one even knows who we are,” Durland said. Many of the cheerleaders agree with their captain; they would like to start getting recognition for all of the hard work they put into the sport. “We aren’t the same as we were four years ago, we just want a chance to show them that we are better than we used to be,” Durland said.

“They make us look so big and like we are the face of the school, yet the students hardly support us,” Lialyn Tolentino (11) said. Tolentino wants the administration to give them a chance and let them compete this year. “It’s the administration’s choice if we get to compete, not ours,” Tolentino said. Cheer’s showcase in the L hallway has also been taken away from them this year, since they have no trophies.

“We aren’t seen as a sport in their eyes,” Maria Arrioja (12) shared. Arrioja expressed that the team works hard on the sidelines, and they risk serious injuries. They condition just like any other sport, yet they feel as though they still aren’t seen. “We have more support than we did last year, but we still are fighting for recognition and support.”

However, Dr. Dunn expressed that he is very proud of the cheerleaders. “They bring in great, great school spirit. They look professional and increase school spirit,” Dr. Dunn said. He also shared that they haven’t been competing because of COVID, and the administration is looking into the possibility for the cheerleaders to compete this year. “It is the first year that cheer has been sanctioned to compete,” he said. Dr. Dunn communicated that administrators are trying to support cheer in whatever way that they can. “We love our cheerleaders, they make our school look good,” Dr. Dunn said.

Cheerleaders feel as though they have been overlooked for years, and they are pushing for the support from peers and even the district board. To support the cheerleaders, they would like it if students came to their fundraisers and followed their instagram @granger_cheer to see what events they have coming up. The cheerleaders would like to be treated the same way all other Granger sports teams are—with respect. They work hard every game to make sure that the school spirit is through the roof. They feel that they deserve to be more appreciated and supported.