FHS Cheer Team Adjusts To New Sports

Audolina Verduzco, Staff Writer

As a result of the ongoing pandemic, the cheerleading team has faced several difficulties. Their first year back from distance learning has led to them now cheering for soccer instead of basketball.

For the first time in years, cheerleaders had no other choice but to cheer for the soccer team instead of the basketball team. With the new Covid-19 regulations set in place, Foothill High School will restrict spectators in indoor games. Since the basketball team plays indoors, only a limited number of people can view the games compared to the outdoor games of the soccer team. Apart from the game regulations, the cheerleaders face another set of challenges amongst themselves.

“There’s not many of us because a lot of them had to quit,” cheer captain Tiana Spruell  said. “They have jobs and other priorities and a lot of the family members throughout the team don’t want their kids to get sick.”

Although some team members believe the decline in cheerleaders this year is the fault of the former cheerleaders, many believe they should have known what they were signing up for.

“I think that they knew what they were signing up for,” cheer team member Molly Thomas said. “They knew the pandemic was happening. You shouldn’t have done it if you’re going to quit.”

With the added pressure of following the new strict Covid-19 regulations, the cheerleading team has its own set of rules to follow.

“A lot of the time we have to space out, wear masks, stay six feet apart at games and we cant be too close,” Spruell said. “If we are close we have to make sure we are tested for Covid-19 regularly.”

Unfortunately, fewer team members and Covid-19 regulations are not the only thing the cheer team has been struggling against.

“For soccer…there was a lot of controversy about that,” Spruell said. “A lot of cheerleaders didn’t really like the idea of soccer being the sport we had to cheerlead for because there wasn’t really a crowd…and it’s cold, so we were disappointed…but we sat down and talked to the coach and principal, and we kinda agreed that it’s an opportunity nonetheless and we still get to cheer.”

There have been many complaints coming from the team as a result of cheering for soccer.

“It’s really cold because it’s later on night and it’s kinda dark,” Thomas said. “I mean there’s the stadium lights…and you keep getting bit by mosquitoes even through the pants.”

Despite the many obstacles they face along the way, the cheer team continues to motivate themselves.

“We have team bondings every once in a while, so we will go somewhere and we’ll connect and talk and get close to one another,” Spruell said. “To keep that enthusiasm we have fun dances we all come up with together…and we do choreography together so it’s not really one voice.”

In the end, the soccer team members have come to appreciate the extra attention that comes with the cheer team.

“It surprised me honestly,” Soccer team captain Jaret Velaquez Hernandes said. “The other players are just as surprised that there are cheerleaders there.”