By MANALE ZOUHIR Yanet Villanueva is a prominent part of Malden High School’s cheerleading squad. Her position is a secondary base, which is the person who stands on the bottom right during a stunt. She says, “The best thing about my position is that I can give as much power I can in order to make my flyer go high, which is always fun. Also, trying new difficult stunts feels like a great accomplishment.” However, she has a lot of pressure with this position because most of the weight and power is on her, which can cause issues, but that’s what makes her so important to the squad. Villanueva is a pro at this, and is used to being a cheerleader because she’s been cheering since sophomore year. Personally, she has seen improvements in flexibility, and within the team, she’s realized that their personal connection has improved. “The way we help each other [has improved]. We actually care and help one another—we’re a family!” she exclaims. “My favorite thing about cheerleading is that all these spirited girls come together to cheer at the football and basketball games to get the crowd pumped. Wearing the uniform and bows make me feel excited...I love the adrenaline we get during competitions.” stated Villanueva. Through years of experience, Villanueva has gathered advice to give to future aspiring cheerleaders. “I would tell them not to be scared to try out for the team, because it’s a great way to make new friends and get involved with the school and the games. It’s a really great experience that you’ll ever forget.” She also adds, “I had so much fun with these girls...I’ll never forget them and I love my team!”

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