Cheerleading Competition Season


Kelsey Rauh

Before their first performance at Rock Canyon High, Cherokee Trail’s junior varsity cheer team poses for the camera. “Under this mask, I’m smiling, trust me,” Joy Martin (9) said. The cheerleaders then completed their first routine of the season in front of a panel of judges.

After a season of off-and-on practices, Cherokee Trail Cheer finally entered competition season. Before Covid-19, competition meant a year’s worth of choreography and hard work, all put on the floor in a 2.5-minute routine for judges to score. The cheerleading season was initially put on hold because of the pandemic, and hopes of a competition season were slim. After months of little practice, CHSAA declared that cheerleaders would have a competition season. In a hurry to prepare, cheerleaders across Colorado have been preparing for the season they never thought would happen.
Usually, cheerleaders would receive their choreographed routine during summer practices. Due to the pandemic, the choreography was pushed back to mid-winter. “It is stressful trying to perfect a routine this late in the season,” varsity cheerleader Yana Pshichenko (10) said. “It makes everything harder.” Without the dutiful practice year-round, cheerleaders are experiencing a flurry of preparations in attempts to achieve a perfect routine.
Also, due to Covid-19, many athletes have been quarantined during this crucial period. “My whole stunt group was out for two weeks,” varsity cheerleader Ashlynn Tyson (11) said.” Having teammates out makes it hard to practice our routine.” Staying safe and healthy while in competition season has proved to be a struggle. With hybrid learning, athletes are exposed to several students a day. “It’s nerve-wracking to be at school,” junior varsity cheerleader Jazmin Nickerson (10) said. “If my classmates get quarantined, there’s a good chance I will be too.” By missing practice, cheerleaders may never get the chance to practice as a whole team.
One of the big excitements of competitions is the crowds and venues. Due to the pandemic, competitions will no longer occur in significant locations such as the Denver Collesium. Instead, competitions will occur at various highschools-with no spectators. “I loved to look out and see my parents cheering along with me,” varsity cheerleader Zoe Samaras (10) said,” This year, we are cheering towards a wall and four judges.” This depressing realization can cause a lack of excitement and take the fun out of these competitions.
Despite all the discontent surrounding this year’s season, cheerleaders are thankful to be at least practicing. “I use cheer as an escape,” junior varsity cheerleader Angelina Borrego (9) said. ”I’m grateful for any opportunity I get during this strange time.” While this year’s athletics may not have been as eventful as years past, cheerleaders are glad to have experienced some normalcy in these unprecedented times.