Liam O'Toole also contributed to the article.
After a few short months, the Malden High Basketball Cheerleaders’ season has come to an end. Since December, the team of 18 girls have been working hard to show their support for Malden High’s Boys Varsity Basketball team.
This year’s season was focused strictly on game cheering and veered away from competing. While the cheer team has not competed in many years, it is something they hope to achieve in the future. Sophomore co-captain Mackenzie Smith said that this season, the team put their efforts into “[doing] a lot of community service and [coming] up with a lot of new routines.”
Earlier this season, the team held a donation drive for the Malden Warming Center. They collected necessities for the homeless population in Malden, donating anything from hygiene and sanitary products, to school supplies and clothing. The team collected over 25 bags worth of donations for the Warming Center, a feat that left coach Melanie Philbrook “extremely proud.”
Philbrook explained that while the team’s initial goal for the season was to learn 50 cheers and one halftime routine, they were able to learn 75 as well as “a different halftime routine [for] each home game, one of which included a dance.” The team was also able to experiment in their cheers, with the incorporation of signs into their routines.
Senior Night focused on more than just the senior basketball players, with senior co-captain Nikki Blue being recognized. Each player and Blue received a personalized gift basket and poster made by the cheerleaders, which were presented to them before the game.
Overall, the season was quite eventful and very effective. There is never a doubt that the cheerleaders wear their Malden pride on their sleeves during their games. The team consistently shows their support for the programs Malden has to offer, something that is especially shown through the amount of community service they did, including the work done with the Warming Center. The team has improved greatly this season and is looking forward to continuing to grow and work towards achieving their goals.