Cheering is Cheerful?

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Emily Helwick

Madison Wood, Staff

The possibility of not having fall sports upset many people, including those who had hoped to attend. Being able to participate in these sports seasons with the cheerleaders and the student section in attendance excited the players for their seasons and the spectators as well. Wearing a mask and following the other COVID-19 guidelines was a small price to pay for most to be able to partake in these activities. 

Wearing masks was and is just one  important part of maintaining the health and safety of our players and those community members in attendance. A role model to younger students, cheerleader Delaney Ham feels it is important for her to keep her mask up and stay positive. Most of the community members in attendance during these activities know the cheerleaders are not required to wear masks when cheering at football games. Even though they aren’t required to wear them while cheering, it is important for them to put masks on during half time or while doing a stunt. With so many eyes on them, it is a good way to reinforce the importance of this health regulation and lead by example.

Making sure they wear their masks and do their part to encourage others to do the same can be challenging though. Smiling is a big part of being a cheerleader, and it is hard to do with only your eyes. If cheerleaders had to wear masks while on the track, many feel it would be more difficult to look happy to be there. The emotion or excitement meant to be conveyed is lost with half of the facial expressions. Likewise,  students are also excited to participate in the student section, but also have been impacted by the wearing of masks. According to sophomore Shelby Furgison, “Last year’s seniors made the student section fun. Now with masks, it is harder for the student section to be as loud as last year.” The cheerleaders, who practice in masks, have to make sure to be extra loud at games. Showing your excitement with a mask on can be difficult since the players cannot see your face. Being able to see the crowds enthusiasm helps the boys to keep playing hard. For some students, showing their support is accomplished by just being there. 

Despite the requirement of masks, the student section has maintained their enthusiasm for all the games. Wearing masks does seem to have impacted the size of the student section, making it a little smaller compared to past years, and some students thought the student section wasn’t as exciting this year. Regardless, having smaller numbers in the student section hasn’t diminished the excitement overall. Cheerleader Delaney Ham says, “At the Cozad game, our student section was small, but they were still super pumped up!” Similarly, Shelby Furgison believes the student section is still a lot of fun. “You get to hang out with your friends. As an underclassmen, it is a great way to make friends.” In a year spent social distancing, being together is the victory!