As school starts back up, the football team, cheerleaders, and band all begin to get ready to play and perform. However, this season is different from previous years. Teams have to work around the Covid-19 pandemic in order to, hopefully, practice and work on the complicated steps of routines.
The 2020 cheer team is being led by the sole senior of the team, Macie Goode. She has been an outstanding member of the high school cheer squad since her freshman year. Even with three years of experience under her belt, Goode still wasn’t prepared for the challenges that came with a global pandemic. But who really was? In her previous years, the team has always been very close with one another. Hugs and goofing off were just a daily part of practice. It was those things that helped build team mentality among the girls. However, with new social distancing rules in place, Goode has noticed that the team has been snappier with each other than usual.
Rules must be followed in hopes that the squad can keep performing. A huge rule that everyone must abide by is maintaining a social distance of at least six feet apart. Goode sadly pointed out that the heart-stopping stunts the squad usually performs for our entertainment are no longer allowed to take place. The physical contact used to throw cheerleaders in the air is now looked down upon in order to slow the spread of Covid-19. Unfortunately, stunting with her girls was one of Goode’s favorite things to do in cheer. Along with removing stunts, the girls have also had to change several routines in order to remain spaced out. Everyone is familiar with the small, packed triangle the girls used in their entrances at pep rallies, but that is no longer an option.
Even after dealing with all of these changes, Goode says that the team has also dealt with other setbacks. In the past, a normal school day involved having after school practices in addition to their cheer class to perfectly nail their moves and have a perfect performance on Fridays for the weekly pep rallies. However, this year comes with no after school practices. The girls were also unable to continue summer practices or attend their annual summer cheer camp. By not having the opportunity to spend an entire week working together, the team is not as close as they usually are and have had less time to create and practice routines. Pep rallies are also being filmed before Friday and shown to the school on our YouTube channel.
Despite everything, the Wildcat Cheerleaders are determined to make the best of the current situation. Goode says her team will make it work and has a positive attitude going into this football season. They can’t wait to be cheering on the sidelines with the Friday night lights shining down on them!