Life with Lily: cheer edition


I’ve been involved in cheer since I was a freshman. It started with me not knowing anything about cheer and just giving it a shot to me doing it every year of high school and now being a senior and captain. I’ve been involved in dance since I was three years old, it has always been a big part of my life and a huge commitment. With this comes the best feelings but also a lot of stress and anxiety. One of the main reasons I joined cheer was to be a part of a team that was less stressful and more of just a fun thing to do. We do strive to be a strong cheer team but there’s so many opportunities to try again if you don’t get something right the first time. Instead of practice and performances always feeling like you are constantly competing, the pressure is a lot less and it’s more of a fun in the moment type of experience for me. 

Another positive with cheer is that it is a big tradition within high schools, which is very important to me. I love wearing our uniforms on Fridays during school for home games, I love using poms and getting excited with the crowd after the football team scores a touchdown, I love hearing the fans screaming “Hit Somebody!” up in the stands, I truly just love sideline cheer. I am so grateful that our community supports our athletics as much as they do, and always show up to every game even if it’s ten minutes away from Missouri or three hours away at Clarinda. It’s so fun when the crowd is just so into the game and we all can just be excited together.

 One of my favorite memories was the game that we won to make it to the dome. The score was close and the time was running out. The whole crowd was on their feet watching intently and cheering for our team, the student section was screaming and cheering with the cheerleaders on the track. It was so crazy and when we scored and got the points needed, we were so happy. It just feels so good to see a community collectively so thrilled and enjoying one moment. As a community we are all unique, and we have our differences but in this one moment everyone felt the same emotion, pure joy. After a hard year due to the pandemic and constantly worrying about if we were even going to be able to play another game, there was finally good news for everyone. It was so refreshing. This is why I love cheer so much, because it brings people together. To me, it’s not about who’s winning or losing the game, doing the hardest stunt, or what’s going on before the game. To me, it’s the time down on the track laughing with the girls, and getting excited with the crowd. Being a part of the team will be a memory I will never forget and I’m so blessed to have gotten the experience.