New season brings a reformed cheer program

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Cristina Brancaleone

GHS varsity cheerleaders (Top row from left) Lexi McRobb, Caitlin Gallo, Gianna Sanfilippo, Vanessa Rodolosi, Jillian Gross, Taylor Hunt, Aurora Billante, Carly Heckman, Grace Brancaleone (front row from left) Bailey Titus, Hannah Nasser, Miranda D'oleo, Jayme Harris

CORRYN ULRICH, Staff Writer

At last, the long awaited season has reached us, both for Christmas and cheerleading, and ’tis the season to be jolly. Particularly on the cheerleading front, there have been several changes made to the program which have been stirring up a lot of buzz as of late.

The most obvious change made was the new head coach, Ms. Erica Mitchell, who will run practices and assist in choreographing routines, among other things.

Mitchell plans to be more involved and engaged with her athletes, something that many cheerleaders say has been missing.

Mitchell’s advancement to head coach was met with enthusiasm and positivity, with promises of having a coach who would be more collaborative and attentive.

“Being a teacher, it’s fun to coach as well,” said Mitchell.  “I’m just going to bring a happy tone back.”

Coach Mitchell’s first order of business was sending the cheerleaders, both Varsity and JV, to a new program in Beverly that will keep the athletes in shape, promote stunt safety and therefore lower risk of, and prevent injury.

This year there will be a bigger varsity team in order to open up more spots. There will also be major changes in how potential cheerleaders are evaluated.

“People can get cut now, they are going to judge you, you get judged for how good you are instead of actually choosing favorites,” said sophomore Aly Bryant.

However, there is still some controversy over whether cheering should be considered a sport.

“It’s a sport. I don’t know why people say it isn’t,” said Bryant.  “We do just as much activity as the football guys.”

Biology teacher David Enos disagrees.  “Cheerleading is a waste of athleticism,” said Enos.  “A lot of people misunderstand me when I say that. There’s no question, they’re athletic. But what’s the point? Cheerleaders care about cheerleaders. If you can’t play defense, it isn’t a sport.”

“Your bases are your defense,” said  junior Kacia Gauthier. “We do more than the football team. You get hurt- There are more injuries in cheer leading than football. You can’t just switch someone else in.”

Regardless of the opinions on cheering, that does not deny the fact that the GHS cheerleaders are destined for a winning season!