Cheer isn’t just clapping and yelling

Caroline Pulford, Staff Reporter

The football game isn´t the only show in town on Friday nights. The GCHS cheerleaders are hard to miss as they stunt and cheer their hearts out each game. Some may think cheerleaders just go to practice, clap and scream at football games, but it’s a bit more work than that.
Central cheerleaders are every bit as athletic as the boys on the turf. ¨We are throwing people… [and] we try to make things look effortless” said freshman, Lexi Anderson, who is currently a member of the varsity squad. “So that’s where people [may] get confused that our job is easy.¨ Many people dismiss Cheer as not being a sport.
GCHS cheerleaders not only support the other sports teams, but they also have their own competitions in which they battle other schools while performing precision routines. ¨I think our athletes work really hard. I think that it takes a lot to be competitive, and we are a very competitive program. I would not call cheerleading anything less than a sport.¨ said JV coach Stacy Custodio.
Ask any cheerleader and they will tell you why Cheer is a sport. Sylvie Evans, from the JV squad, describes cheerleading as, ¨people working together to perform athletic moves that create a routine for a competition or to inspire our teams and fans, so I think it is a sport. It’s just different than most.¨ Central cheerleaders practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays, have tumbling on Mondays, and a few three hour practices on Saturdays, along with football games on Fridays.
¨Cheer is officially an IHSA sport. So it is sanctioned by the IHSA. I think it’s exciting that it continues to develop and they’re talking about cheerleading, being a part of the Olympics¨ Custodio noted.
So remember the next time you are at a game, not all of the athletes are on the field or court, because some of them are on the sideline cheering the Rams to victory.