As the poms-poms shake high in the sky, the fall cheerleading season finished off strong. The team’s energetic spirit and putting effort into their routines. Though they had some challenges, especially Covid hitting them, they have not been cheering since pre-covid. Due to that delay there were a lot of changes and adjustments there, and wearing masks also practiced social distancing.
Though the team had obstacles this season, it has been hard considering how nervous coming back and playing contact sports was for people. Senior Mackenzie Smith, one of the captains of the team, stated that “getting together is a new thing for everyone.”
Everyone is really excited about the new season. Senior Caroline Oliveira, believes that the team is learning new cheers and being “a team again, after two years” The team had to learn 75 game cheers, chants, and some pom dances.
Their game performances have been great and they were good at getting the crowd involved. Melanie Philbrook, the coach, says that they “worked hard” this season. The crowd can be unenthusiastic when it comes to the girls cheering.
The team interacts with the crowd in the games and gets them more amped up. The team gives the loudest fan a candy bag to encourage the crowd to be more interested in the game, and support the team. Sophomore Isabella Oliveira said that, “getting the crowd more engaged can definitely be a challenge, but we’ll figure it out.”
The team did a lot to bring the spirit back to Malden High this year, after two years of online school, Philbrook states “a year in a half, couldn’t do anything at all.” She tries to make the girls have fun when they’re cheering, trying to get them back into a happy place.
One of the things Philbrook tries to do is hold the girls accountable for their actions. She wants them to be responsible, so they can take care of themselves, physically and emotionally. Philbrook also wants the girls to keep up with “ their schoolwork, maintaining a certain grade point average, and going to school.”
Moreover, Philbrook wants the cheerleaders to get more involved in the community, which they have started with fundraising. Philbrook especially wants them to “promote school spirit” which she has made clear “that is [their] next task at hand,” and getting everybody including the school involved in the upcoming football game is her goal.
Oliveira believes that you have to be aware of when and where you cannot work “but your best friend is time management.” Time management can be a big factor when pursuing high school sports.
The team has made a lot of progress from where they were at tryouts and where they’re now. Erikah Marcharia, a sophomore, thinks cheerleading “has a lot of positivity because that’s the main goal of a cheerleader.” The team describes how they have different personalities, as well as how they cooperate with one another.
Yes, they’re all different from one another, though the cheerleaders' individual differences and bonds formed is what makes the team strong. Audrey Keating, a senior on the team, believes “while we all are different, we all mesh together pretty well and we all have different pieces to the puzzle that makes us such a great team.”
The team has strong personalities that come together as a whole. They will continue to do better in the near future and are always looking for people who truly want to join. They hold their practices in the gymnastics room for anyone who would like to join.