Leading in school spirit: cheerleaders energize student body


Photo Courtesy of Amber Horton

Varsity Cheer Team celebrating NCCCA 2nd place win.

Elijah Shabazz, Staff Writer

The Wakefield High School cheerleading team had a memorable season. The season was grueling, beginning in August and not ending until March, but the ladies kept up their good spirits, and they bonded together to complete a successful season. They placed second in the pre-season competition, Cheer Coaches Association competition, and the Wake County Cheer competition.

This season, the ladies backed both the football and basketball teams. With their elaborate routines and contagious energy, the cheer team was essential to the successes of both sports programs.

In her first year as the head coach of the varsity team, Amber Horton had a precise focus for this year’s team.

“Program-wise, we needed to focus more on school spirit and doing more to support the football team and basketball team, in addition to preparing for our competitions,” Horton said.

The Wakefield football team made it to the State Playoffs this year after a winless season in 2017. Both the Women’s and Men’s Varsity basketball teams won the NAC IV conference championships and made it to the Elite 8 of the State Playoffs. For the first time in years, both the basketball and football teams had pep rallies, spearheaded by none other than the cheerleaders.

We know that we play a big role in our school’s sports scene”

— Brown

Senior Logan Brown played a major role on this year’s team.

“My favorite moment of the season was the [men’s basketball] game against Panther Creek,” Brown said. “The gym was packed, and the crowd was hyped the entire game”.

Brown, who has been a part of the Wakefield cheerleading program since her freshman year, felt that this year’s team was more special than those of the past.

“I have made many memories this year,” Brown said. “A lot of my teammates have become sisters to me and our relationships will last way beyond high school.”

Senior captain, Alex Green, was on the varsity cheerleading team all four years of high school. Green wanted to make her final year as a Wakefield cheerleader memorable.

“This year, I was excited to compete more so than I was last year,” Green said. “This was my last year with a Wakefield uniform on so I cherished cheering at games, but I love to compete.”

Cheerleading is more than just sitting on the sidelines of games. The ladies work extremely hard behind the scenes to produce routines that not only encourage the players and captivate the attention of fans but to win competitions.

“We practice to win our competitions, not to sit in the stands,” Horton said. “Cheerleading is a lot more than you guys see.”

The ladies came together and had a great season that led to an all-around successful year for Wakefield athletics.

“We know that we play a big role in our school’s sports scene,” said Brown. “I hope that the work that we have done this year spills over into the years to come.”