Most people when they hear the word “cheerleader” and they think of those popular, not so nice, sassy stereotypes. While that’s what the media puts out there, that’s actually not true at Dobie where the members of the cheer team are kind, hard working and truly show school spirit. And when they do something, they give it 100%.
There are 20 cheerleaders this year. To make the team, each cheerleader tried out for the team last year when a total of 48 tried out. The cheerleaders began their season with cheering for football and then transition to cheering for both boys and girls basketball teams. Mrs. Santos and Mrs. Carroll are the cheer sponsors this year. In addition to cheering, they also create spirit and theme posters and display them around the school.
Chloe Vanwinkle, a base for her fellow “sisters” believes that a lot of cheerleaders on her team are very kind and doesn’t understand the cheerleader stereotype. “They go by their heart,” Vanwinkle said.
Cheerleaders are involved in more than just cheer. Many of the girls involved in multiple sports or activities outside of school cheer, said Mrs. Santos. “All-star cheer, softball, volleyball, soccer, band, etc and they are committed to each team/sport and do whatever they can to be at both & give 100% at both,” she said. “They show real determination and sacrifice to both teams to be present at as much as they can. They are defiantly ALL IN!”
The team practices daily during seventh period 7th period cheer class. “This is a great hard working group of girls with a lot of heart and dedication, I have really enjoyed coaching them this year!” said Mrs. Santos.
The Dobie cheerleaders are extremely dedicated. Chloe has been doing cheer since she was 3. She says the mindset for most cheerleaders, especially her, is sleep, eat, cheer, repeat. Cheerleading can be expensive and there’s a lot of risk that goes in it, but as Chloe says, “It’s worth it when your heart’s all in.”
Popularity isn’t as important to cheerleaders as many assume. When asked about the stereotypes, Isabel Richardson said that she felt violated that most people think that about the cheerleaders, “I feel very disrespected because we’re not all mean,” said Richardson.
Generally, many young people think of the worst when it comes to cheerleaders, and Summer DeBoy said that it makes her frustrated “when everyone keeps saying cheerleaders are like this and cheerleaders are like that, it makes me angry to the point where I act a little mean because people don’t know us and should stop assuming.”
The cheerleaders try to bond and create lasting relationships. It’s nice for them to have friends in cheer because they understand the struggle of a cheerleader, like waking up at 6 a.m. for competitions and dealing with stereotypes like some people assuming they are mean or that they are dating the quarterback. Many cheerleaders say they don’t want to talk about cheer 24/7, either. There’s a lot more to them than being a cheerleader.
Aaliyah Malik-Aranda said that all this talk about stereotypes is unbelievable. “All of this is just nonsense because the cheerleaders are nice,” said Malik-Aranda.
Deboy, another cheerleader here at Dobie, has a similar point of view: “We may not always get along, but we all act like sisters,” she said, adding that when they have some drama, they are able to solve it, but if it gets out of hand, Mrs. Santos steps in. Mrs. Santos likes for her cheerleaders to work hard and be kind to each other and the school.
Overall, the cheerleaders are kind, fun, and enthusiastic girls. Dobie cheerleaders work repeatedly just to get one stunt that will probably last for a few seconds. They also put up all the posters around school. Don’t forget that they also have feelings, so don’t be mean to them; they try their hardest at everything they do.