Story by Zoe Harmon, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Andris Visockis
Cheerleading is truly a sport and it is tougher than most people think. With great coaches and a cohesive group, the Aquinas Cheerleading Team is excited to show what they’ve got.
Cheer is often held under the radar and given little credit, even though it is most certainly due. The work that the cheer team puts in on a daily basis is extreme. In fact, the sport uses every muscle in the body. The team wants everyone to know that it is not as easy as it looks.
Junior Bailey Watson notes, “We are real athletes. Cheerleading is the only sport that uses every muscle in the body pretty much all the time. We work so hard and we are more than just the guys and girls on the sidelines clapping. We are hardworking, motivated athletes.”
Sometimes it is difficult to keep up the spirits when a team is looked down upon. However, confidence is key, and the Aquinas Cheer Team seems to have it.
“Often we hear people tell us that cheer is not a sport. And to that, I’d like to challenge anyone who says so to do any of the tumbling passes we are expected to learn for competitions,” says junior Joshua Atherton. “They might discover that cheer is a very athletically demanding sport and requires much more than brute strength and competitive nature.”
Not only are they confident, but the Aquinas Cheer Team has a strong bond. More like a family, each member know that the team is only as strong as it’s weakest member.
Senior Makayla Putnam mentions, “Everyone on the mat has to give it 100% or the routine doesn’t look right. The same goes with any stunt. The backspot, both bases, and the flyer all have to work together if they are going to get better and perform more advanced stunts.”
With that said, it is a good thing that the team feels like family. Cheer has brought many Aquinas students together that would have never met if it weren’t for the sport. Sophomore Karyn Twardy adds, “I really love the family aspect that goes along with participating in the sport.”
This cohesive family bond would not be possible without great coaches. The men and women of the Aquinas Cheer Team speak highly of their coaches, saying that cheering for them is a rewarding experience. Atherton notes, “They are so gifted and talented! They both cheered for amazing teams and Aquinas is fortunate to have Emily White and Amy Stover as our coaches.”
Credit is due to the the team that works harder than most people think. It is their intense dedication despite the stereotypes that makes the Aquinas Cheer Team one to look up to.
About the writer…
Zoe Harmon is in her final year at Aquinas College, majoring in Sports Management/Business Administration and minoring in Communication. Zoe is a member of the Sports Management Club where she serves on the board as Treasurer.She is also a Disney College Program Alumni after spending 7 months in Orlando. Zoe has a great passion for travel and health/fitness and in her free time, she enjoys hiking adventures, biking, and spending time with her friends and family.
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