The Patriot Press

Cheer squad takes on new team dynamic

Q&A with senior captain Allie Gross

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Kelly Jinguji, Editor-in-chief

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Q: What is the cheer dynamic like for this year?

A: Multiple aspects of the team have shifted, both in leadership and in our team roster. Out of our 30-person cheer team, we have four returners, four upperclassmen, and a new coach, which is a challenge in itself. Instead of going right into things, we have to take steps back, make new adjustments, or completely rework aspects of our program. This includes re-evaluation of our stunting, our organization at football games, and our practice itinerary, but it’s for the best.

Q: What challenges has the team faced this year?

A: In past years, everything we learned was self-directed. Typically we would take time to learn most of the cheers through videos, and if someone was confused, she would follow the people around her. Now, when something is confusing, there aren’t many people to look at besides me and four other returners.

Q: The cheer squad is fairly underclassmen-heavy. Has that changed your leadership style?

A: With the new team dynamic all of my goals and my focus has changed; however, since my freshman year on varsity, I’ve taken mental notes on what I wanted out of a leader and the impact I wanted to make on the team, and that hasn’t changed. I think I have been pushed as a leader, putting myself in the position of the new members on the team to find solutions to some of our challenges, like learning new routines.

Q: What are the biggest aspects and goals the cheer team is working towards?

A: Right now, we are focusing on rebuilding the team for success to come. We’ve also been trying to integrate our JV program more and foster more opportunities for both squads to perform together, like in the first assembly. We have more fun performing in the assemblies as an entire cheer team, including stunts we’ve never done before, and I think the girls take a lot of pride in that!

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Cheer squad takes on new team dynamic