Cheerleaders get a bad rap. Disregarded as unintelligent and mean-spirited, movies have taught us to avoid the dreaded — the manipulative — high school cheerleader.
While the role of cheerleader has a spot in the high school social hierarchy, many of us forget that cheerleading is a sport. I used to love catching a competition on TV on random weekend mornings.
I never wanted to be a cheerleader, but thought that those flips and tricks were astonishing.
More than mere athleticism, cheerleading requires a sense of trust and camaraderie between squad members that surpasses any team sport’s requirements.
To be fair, not every school has a squad that participates in competitions — mine didn’t. For the majority of squads, keeping the fans engages and rooting for their team is the extent of the job.
Still, as a squad you grow close and develop shared expectations. Expectation number one: never miss a game.
Last week, Carroll County, Missouri, hosted the Missouri CLAA Conference Tournament between two rival schools, Hardin-Central and Northwestern.
As the ladies from Hardin-Cardinal waited for the game to start, they noticed there was only one cheerleader present to represent Northwestern.
Apparently the rest of the Northwestern squad had taken ill. Could you imagine?
You’re in high school, your school is in a big tournament, and all of a sudden you have to go out and cheer — by yourself. Northwestern Eagles cheerleader Tori Adams was nervous to say the least.
In what is being lauded as an “incredible show of sportsmanship,” the ladies from Hardin-Cardinal invited Adams to cheer alongside them.
They scrambled to learn each other’s key cheers and stole the show with their heart-felt cheers.
Sometimes the fans of rival teams are just as passionate in their distaste for the other team as the participants themselves. In this case, the fans supported the girls and cheered their teamwork.
These teens should be applauded. When they saw someone in need, they were able to put their ideological differences aside and work together for the betterment of the entire tournament.
Unwilling to leave even a rival out in the cold, this team saw beyond competition and focused on their similarities, banding together for the greater good.
What a lovely message to the world. May we learn from this and remember that kindness is one of the most important services we can offer to each other.
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