Senior Ariella Williams posing for a photo. Photo by Leila Griege.
Senior Ariella Williams posing for a photo. Photo by Leila Griege.

With an inspiration to cheer through her friends, Ariella Williams has been cheering ever since she was a freshman. Cheerleading has brought her closer to her friends, as well as the sport. “I've been cheering since freshman year and in my four years I've learned so much and gained skills like working with a team and I’ve developed leadership skills. It's also helped with social skills, like a lot of my closer friends are on the team.”

Explaining how she believes the team has gotten a lot closer this year, Williams shows that a sport is capable of making strong connections with one another. “My freshman year I was really shy because I didn't really know anyone and the team didn't feel as close but sophomore year things changed because we competed so we were around each other a lot more and it was a more comfortable environment to be in. I think that the team has grown a lot closer this year. A lot of us hang out outside of school so that strengthens the bond we have with each otherwise.”

Her memories include competing in a jamboree and building stronger connections with her close friends and teammate, Tiana Hope and captain Danielle Copson. “I don't think I would be friends with her if it wasn't for cheering but I know she's one of the people I can trust if I have a problem. And Danielle Copson because we're already together a majority of the time and because of cheering, we’re together before practices and games.” “Sophomore year, it was jv's first time ever competing and doing jamboree, where all the Malden cheer teams come together to show off their routines Jamboree was the only time we hit the whole routine other than at practice and it was such a good rewarding feeling to know that all the hard work we did paid off.”

Setting goals for herself since freshman year, she explains how, as a freshman, she didn't know what to expect, so she didn't set any goals for herself. “I didn't think I’d cheer all throughout high school” Williams explains. One of her favorite parts about cheerleading are the games because she likes to support her school, and the entertainment and excitement of how loud everyone gets when something good happens. Her advice to people who want to join cheerleading is to do it because “It's a lot of fun and everyone is really nice and you'll learn a lot of new things.” Through her cheerleading experience, Williams expresses how important it is that sports to build relationships with people you’ve never thought you’d be friends with.

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