Cheerleaders Feel the Pressure

By: Angela Salerno
By: Angela Salerno

Pom poms shake up the crowd as the cheerleaders are ready to fire up the stadium, but some states are putting pressure on these squads to cheer at the same number of girls’ athletic events as they do the guys.

The Leon County School District wants to maintain local control over their cheerleading squads.

"It's basically the principal's discretion as to what they want them to cheer at, however, we encourage them to cheer at as many activities as possible," said Ricky Bell, Leon County School's Director of Activities.

Lincoln High School's cheerleading coach said forcing girls to perform at all games may stretch them too far.

"Adding volleyball may make them a little more busy. It could possibly turn them off to cheerleading because it is requiring them to do so many things, as opposed to other athletes who just play one sport," said Kathy Tyree, Lincoln High School varsity cheerleading coach.

While coaches feel the federal mandate is asking too much, some cheerleaders like the idea.

"We would be able to adjust, we would be more than happy to cheer for both teams," said Synita Griswell, a Lincoln High School cheerleader.

And the teams appreciate the support.

"They said they like us there and they like us to get the crowd pumped for them so we are there as much as we can be," said Libby Olk, Lincoln High School cheerleading captain.

School officials said one cheerleading team cannot root on every game, so for now squads are split, allowing the girls to cheer during as many events as possible.

Leon County school officials said money could also become a factor, if the federation calls for cheerleaders to perform at all girls’ games.


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