Cheer team changes and regulations


Bree Soule, Online Editor in Chief

Restrictions have been set on the cheer team for the 2020-2021 school year for safety reasons during COVID-19. The team was cleared to cheer at football games, but limited to the types of lifts and stunts they can do this fall.

“We’re excited to start stunting this week,” varsity cheer coach Morgan Martinez said. “We’ve read through our new guidelines and feel confident we’ll be able to add it in safely. It looks like the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) is also looking at allowing in more spectators starting Oct. 9, so that will help it feel more normal on Fridays.”

While stunting is permitted, restrictions are in place on the types of stunts the team can do.

“I’m sad we can’t twist down from stunts or do more elaborate stuff,” junior Aubrey Yager said. “But I’m grateful we get to at least stunt at all.”

In addition to stunting restrictions, black cloth masks are required and must be secured at the back of the head with velcro. When not stunting, the cheerleaders have to stay six feet apart.

“I don’t think [the cheers] are as loud with masks on, but we try to use diction and annunciate so you can understand us,” Yager said. “We had to change a lot of cheers too because they involved close contact.

With these restrictions set for sideline cheer, what the winter competitive season will hold remains uncertain.

“I believe that the restrictions that were put in place are in the best interests of the safety of the athletes,” Athletic Director Michael Bakker said. “We do not have any information on the winter Competitive season yet; I’m just excited to have them and all of our athletes back participating in some format this fall.”  

Stunting restrictions, if continued into the competitive season, may decrease the team’s scores.

“Hopefully we will be able to do more different stunts,” Yager said. “We’re judged on difficulty and a lot of the difficult stunts aren’t allowed, so it will all come down to performance and neatness.”

Martinez, however, believes restrictions on elaborate stunts will lead to improvement.

“I think [the restrictions] are actually going to make us stronger in the end,” Martinez said. “Sometimes it’s hard to take time out to focus on the foundation when the team wants to keep working on the more showy stuff. What we are able to do now are essentially the main building blocks and now that it’s all we can do, it’s going to be huge for helping improve our technique”

The varsity cheer team will be performing at the next football game on Oct. 16 versus Swartz Creek High School.