Wakefield varsity cheer leads the way for a successful sports season


Photo Courtesy of Naomi Steele

Wakefield Cheer Squad poses for a photo in their flower crowns to show their support for the football team. The theme that night was Hippie Out, and their peace signs along with their cheers helped promote school spirit among their peers.

Abby Dykes and Sky Morgan

High school sports teams are fueled by many factors: their teammates, coaches, competition and their passion for the sport. The support from fans motivates the athletes to do their best. But there is one supporter rarely ever appreciated: the cheerleaders. 

Present at every football and basketball game, the cheerleaders are there to ensure that the teams they support on the field are feeling the love while simultaneously pumping the players up through catchy cheers, intricate stunts and exuberant choreography. Wakefield’s varsity cheer team works hard to keep charisma and encouragement high. 

“Teams we cheer for enjoy having us there to cheer them on,” sophomore Jada Jewell said. “I personally think that hearing us is motivating because they know someone is there for them.” 

It is usually underappreciated, but the support from cheerleaders is undoubtedly a huge motivator for sports teams during their games. 

“The presence of cheerleaders adds a positive pressure onto the basketball and football teams,” senior Naomi Steele said. “Knowing that there’s a group of people watching you and rooting for your success is always a good incentive to work hard.”

With their bright smiles and sparkling pom poms, the team makes cheering look almost effortless — but there is quite a bit of work that goes into being a cheerleader. 

“We practice two days a week for two hours,” Jewell said. “In practice, we take the time to go over jumps, tumbling and perfecting cheers. It’s a long and hard process, but it is worth it for the feeling of knowing we look our best.”

It’s a long and hard process, but it is worth it for the feeling of knowing we look our best.

— Jewell

The vigorous practices allow for sports games to become elevated, giving cheerleaders the perfect opportunity to put their best foot forward and show off the skills they worked so hard to perfect.

“I think cheering at the games makes them more exciting,” junior Kendal Goins said.  “If the crowd is hyped, the players feed off their energy.”

To be able to consistently be at the forefront of sports games, it is imperative for there to be a strong bond between the cheerleaders. Whether they are on the sidelines, in practice or at a team dinner, one thing is always present between the cheerleaders and coach: communication.

“Communication and feedback are essential to any team’s success,” Cheer Coach Carolyn Plunkett said. “When you are stunting and tumbling, communication must be explicit not only for trust but for safety and overall understanding of every person’s role on the team.”

The importance of Wakefield’s varsity cheer team is undeniable. Whether cheering from the sidelines of a basketball game or football game, the energy the cheerleaders bring is a valuable and often an overlooked part of sports games. 

 “I believe the encouragement, energetic words, chants and cheers can inspire the athletic teams the cheerleaders are supporting [and] can have a positive impact on the performance of the teams competing,” Plunkett said.