Cheerleaders struggle through COVID cancelations

By Maclaine Willet, assistant news editor

During their Fall II season this year, the cheerleading team has continued to support the football team and spread Whaler pride amidst the many changes that were made for safety precautions during their season. Although the cheerleading team, along with all other programs in the high school this year, wish that there could be pep rallies and larger events for them to participate in, they have still managed to make the most out of this season. As Arielle Holmes, a junior on the cheerleading team, states, “We are grateful and proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish this year.”

Regarding changes that the team has made this season, most of the changes only involve the physical placement of the cheerleaders; they are now placed at the end zone on the perimeter of the field. This change was made mainly to eliminate the possible contact between the cheerleaders and the fans in the stands, considering their previous placement in other years has been right in front of the bleachers. Although this isn’t the ideal circumstance, considering being near the fans is one of the perks of cheering at the football games, it does make the games “more intense” for the cheerleaders when the opposing teams are nearing their side. 

The cheerleading team has remained focused and excited for what’s to come, especially their halftime show. As Junior Captain Alexis Connole explains, the team is looking forward to “trying new things for halftime.” These halftime performances are a key portion of the cheerleading team’s participation, and the team has expressed true pride for their hard work when it comes to perfecting these performances.

As for morale, the cheerleaders have continued to keep a positive attitude even under these trying circumstances, and this is all possible under the leadership of co-captains Connole Senior Kamoy Barnett. Although this season has been tough when it comes to keeping positive, the cheerleading team has come together to ensure a great atmosphere where they are all grateful to have been able to have a season this year, even if it has looked significantly different.

For the following year, the cheerleading team is looking forward to events that they were unable to participate in this season, like pep rallies and homecoming. These are very important and exciting events for the cheerleading team, so all of the members of the team can’t wait for the opportunity to be able to showcase their skills in these events again. Aside from the bigger events, Connole states that she is simply “looking forward to being around the team again” next year.

Despite the challenges that have come with a season amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the cheerleading squad has been able to adapt to the changing circumstances and guidelines that come with cheering during these times. The team has continuously shown their pride on and off the field, and has made sure to maintain a positive morale for the duration of the season. Though the Island Cup has been cancelled due to a Covid case on the Martha’s Vineyard team, the squad believes that they have represented their skills well this season, and they look forward to another good season next year.

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