by Da Hee Yang (’23) | Nov. 19, 2021
Do you see a group of Lancers tumbling in a whirl of brown and yellow skirts across the football field? Jumping and cheering in their splendid school colors, the new Saint Francis cheer team adds more layers of entertainment and school spirit to our football games. Their dedication and vivacity pump up both our so-far-undefeated football team and the audience cheering for the players.
The cheer team was first created by three head captains: Samantha Collins (’22), Ava Conoley (’23), and Madison Morey (’23). Over the course of several years, these Lancers have competed on cheer teams outside of school. After noticing that Saint Francis did not yet provide a place for students to showcase their stunting, tumbling, jumping, and dancing talents all in one, they wanted to share their passion for the sport on campus. “Over the past summer, we worked hard to develop a new program on campus, and we’re looking forward to improving this program throughout the year,” Conoley says confidently.
As the school’s first ever cheer program, the team has already learned three different routines after its start in September. For many team members, it is their first time ever cheering, while others are already involved in club teams. The team has quickly incorporated different skills and techniques to work with the members’ various backgrounds. As someone who is involved in a cheer team outside of school, Iminii Wilmer (’22) states, “Seeing some members come from no experience and learn how to stunt, jump, and tumble has been amazing to watch.”
When asked about the most memorable experiences of being involved, all cheer team members expressed that their favorite part about cheer is the team bonding. Wilmer shares that “during performances, we always talk to each other through it and cheer each other on, which is called ‘mat-talk’ in the cheer world.” Members further state that they love the supportive practice and performance environment. Tiffany Neher (’23) mentions that “one of the biggest accomplishments the cheer team has made is coming together as a group.”
Even though team bonding has only been one important aspect in cheer, active collaboration is also extremely crucial to ensure that stunts will not lead to injuries. The members state that the team’s sense of unity helps them overcome all possible fears during performances as they count during stunt sequences and help each other be more punctual. A flyer on the team, Sophia Lu (’24) shares that while “practices and performances can feel nerve-wracking at times, I feel supported by my stunt group. Everyone takes initiatives of making each performance safe and a team effort on the performance day.”
While the halftime show is the team’s main performance, the team also constantly adds spirit to the Rage Cage by cheering along the sidelines with the Varsity Spirit Squad, pom poms in hand. Both teams work together to enhance the school spirit.
It is the cheer team’s behind-the-scenes practices and energy that make the stunts “hit” and create an uplifting environment. As the team hopes to continue “hyping up” the school spirit for the remaining football season, maybe it is the audience’s time to “cheer” for our new cheer team.