Long cheers through high school


Connie Kavensky

GO AVES. Long (far left) and her squad have to juggle not only pompoms but also school and their friends. “Though cheer takes up a good portion of my time and will take even more with the upcoming competition, it’s not too hard to handle for me. It does take away my time on weeknights to do my homework or spend time with my family, but that’s made up on the weekends because, excluding Friday nights, we don’t have cheer on the weekends,” Long said. The squad has grown close through years of cheer and will continue to light up the stands of SHS’ games and pep rallies.

We see them on the sidelines of every game and pep rally. But what is going through cheerleaders’ minds as they chant encouragement and tumble across the court?

For senior Hannah Long, it is now second nature.

Although, cheerleading has not always been easy, the adjustment period for high school cheer proved a challenge for Long.

“A challenge I dealt with early on in cheer was struggling to remember every cheer and every dance I was taught.

“Freshman and sophomore year were difficult; a lot of people don’t realize how hard it is to memorize the hundreds of things we are taught,” Long said.

With practice, the routines grew easier. Long even met many friends on her squad, which made her transition easier.

“My favorite part of cheer actually isn’t the cheering part. It’s spending time with my squad. It sounds cliche, but cheering together has brought us very close, especially since we will be competing later this season.

“We see each other almost every day, and it’s allowed me to meet some of my closest friends!” Long said.

Although she has been actively involved in cheer for nine years, Long does not wish to continue it in college.

“School cheer and college cheer are very different things. In college, it’s a lot more competitive and skill-based, meaning a lot of tumbling – a skill I don’t have – and stunting – something we aren’t allowed to do in sideline cheer,” Long said.

Long and her squad plan to make the most of their time together and help bring school spirit to the crowds and teams of SHS.