The Oracle

Girls aren’t the only ones who cheer

Varsity+cheerleaders+Michael+Woo+and+Julia+Coronado+practice+their+routine+for+highschool+football+games+and+upcoming+competitions.
Varsity cheerleaders Michael Woo and Julia Coronado practice their routine for highschool football games and upcoming competitions.

Varsity cheerleaders Michael Woo and Julia Coronado practice their routine for highschool football games and upcoming competitions.

Courtesy of Mia Damiano

Courtesy of Mia Damiano

Varsity cheerleaders Michael Woo and Julia Coronado practice their routine for highschool football games and upcoming competitions.

MaryAnn Xue, Page One Editor

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Male cheerleaders may seem rare in the largely female-dominated world of cheerleading, but they do exist and bring an equal amount of spirit to the field.
For the first time since 2012, the 2017 Varsity cheer team includes two male cheerleaders. Cheerleading was never limited to just girls, but this year, boys became valuable additions to the team.
“Someone asked me if I should do it, so I just said that I’ll go to one of the green days,” said junior Michael Woo. “I tried out and I really liked it the first time so I just kept going.”
Boys and girls have similar roles on the team. They chant and tumble to generate school spirit and create a positive atmosphere during games. According to Woo, cheer is beneficial to a person’s physical and emotional well-being.
“You get stronger, and you become more positive everyday,” said Woo.
Having male cheerleaders on the team changes the team’s dynamic and brings a lot of advantages. Their added strength makes it easier for the team to perform acrobatics because the female cheerleaders can be lifted with ease.
“One of the guys is really tall and really strong, so whenever there’s one of those [flying] stunts, we fly really high,” said freshman Trinity Rose Buckles.
Additionally, the male cheerleaders allow the team to incorporate “one-manning”, where a single person carries another cheerleader. According to sophomore Rachel Nguyen, one of the only problems resulting from the addition of boys is cleanliness of routines. Motions in cheerleading should be tight, but because the boys are new, they sometimes don’t have straight enough arms, or they might have their hands in the wrong positions.
The boys also often play around during practice, wrestling with the girls and carrying them around. That, however, only adds to the fun of having them on the team.
“There are actually many guys who can tumble but won’t join cheer because they think it’s embarrassing, but male cheerleaders are actually very impressive and fun to have,” said Nguyen.
The coed team doesn’t feel very different from the all-girls team last year, although the boys have made the team more confident in their routines.
“The boys compliment the team so well, and they fit in so perfectly that I can’t imagine cheering without them,” said junior Julia Coronado.
Having male cheerleaders on the Varsity cheer team is a big step forward in recognizing cheer as a truly competitive sport not defined by gender.
“Cheerleading is not just for females,” said freshman Yadhira Gonsalves. “It’s open to everyone.”

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Girls aren’t the only ones who cheer