Tag Archives: Cheerleading

We respect your sport, so why can you not respect ours?

Photo by Kate Zuverink

Story by Olivia Schroeder

Picture the scene of 29 high school cheerleaders dangerously lifting bodies into the air on one leg with one girl in the back, getting ready to perform a skill that could paralyze her for life. That girl was my friend Madison Spanopoulos on August 19, 2019, and it was one of the scariest days of her life. 

Keep that picture in your mind, but now we should talk about something else. I have accepted that I will never know or understand why most people believe that cheerleading is not a sport. I have been a competitive cheerleader since I was seven years old and have completely fallen in love with it. Although cheer will forever have my heart, as all things do, cheerleading also comes with a few down sides. 

To name a few, constantly being injured is a weekly occurrence, hearing people make hurtful comments such as  “Cheerleaders are weak” or that “Cheer is not a sport” does hurt a lot. Most athletes have put their whole life into this sport and others, such as Madison, have even risked their lives. 

Now we will return to that previous scene. As Madison began to take her first running step, everyone was cheering her on loudly and encouraging her to do well, but as soon as she jumped to flip, everything went downhill. She flew high into the air, but panicked and came crashing to the hard floor, landing on her back. That day, I watched my friend’s eyes roll to the back of her head, and I watched her get carried out by a stretcher as tears rolled down my face. 

Thankfully, Madison woke up with only a concussion, but when she came back to school, people were not supportive of her. Students started to say that just because someone got hurt, it still does not mean it was hard work. 

Cheerleaders, specifically our team, have worked incredibly hard to get where we are today, putting in countless hours of work each week throughout the year. The sport is not just reciting chants for our school. There is a whole other side that is more serious and dangerous. We practice for five to six days a week and, yes, it is tough, but we love every minute of it. When we hear people saying that the activities we do are easy and that it is not a sport, it affects us because the passion that we have worked so hard towards our whole lives for is being disrespected. We have suffered broken bones, torn muscles, back problems, head issues and many of us, even surgeries because of the amount of work we put in. 

Nobody will know how dangerous cheerleading is, or what it consists of until they have experienced it for themselves. We respect your sport. Now, why can you not respect ours?


Football beats Providence 28-7 on Aug. 30

By Grace Allen

Cheer team wins state championship over the weekend

By Braden Schroeder

Photo submitted by Hunter Hampton

Over the weekend the FC cheer team made history by bringing home a state title, something that hadn’t been done in seven years.

“Instant tears of joy came rolling down my face, and the grasps we had on each other’s hands only got tighter,” said junior Olivia Babbitt. “It was a feeling of relief knowing that all of our hard work and hours we’ve put into the routine has paid off.”

After being an all girls team for the past several years, FC made a big change this year by transitioning to co-ed. By competing in co-ed, the team knew they would have to up their intensity.

“We knew a lot was expected from both Hunter and myself. We would go in on days we didn’t have practice, or we would go in before and stay after practice to work on the motions or stunts that the girls would want to be perfect for competition,” said senior Cameron Gentry.

Head cheer coach Celeste Bell said that earlier preparation for competition was needed for this season to be successful.

“We started competing earlier than years past in order to prepare. This enabled the team to get better conditioned for the routine they had and also gave them a chance to perfect it and be able to make it harder by the time we got to state,” said Bell.

According to sophomore Kyleigh Nalley, it was an honor to be on the team that finally brought home a state title.

“This being the first time winning state in seven years is very honoring. I am honored to be a part of this team and to participate in such a challenging routine,” said Nalley.

Not only did FC have success over the weekend, but the New Albany cheer team placed second, right behind the Highlanders.

“Floyd County cheer leading is the best tradition in the state. It’s always been strong and there has always been support from parents, the schools, and athletes alike which is sometimes hard to find,” said Bell.

Although the wait for a state title is finally over and the team can relax for now, the hard journey towards next season is only getting closer and closer as each day passes by.

“If there was a year to bring home a state title, I knew that this was our year,” said Babbitt. “This team has so much heart and talent. We are so willing to work together to reach our goal. It’s a great feeling to finally bring a state title home.”

Senior Hunter Hampton balances cheerleading and weightlifting

Photos by Braden Schroeder