Cheer back on the sidelines at football games

Varsity cheer wearing masks at practice on their first week back after tryouts.

Desiree Houg

Varsity cheer wearing masks at practice on their first week back after tryouts.

With football season starting back up, the question as to what the sidelines will look like has been running through the cheer teams heads’. Due to COVID, many girls did not think they would be allowed to perform their normal sideline cheers. 

Coach Desiree Houg confirms “Cheer will be at the football games on the sidelines,” adding they are “very happy to have been allowed this as it was definitely up in the air for a while.”

However, since cheer requires a lot of contact and up-close interaction, they have to be very cautious right now and while moving forward with performing on the sides. One of the concerns athletes and coaches had was whether or not they would be allowed to start up stunting again.

“Because we have specialized masks,” says team captain Sofia Voronova, “we are allowed to do everything, including stunting!”

The masks they will be wearing have straps that go around their whole face and can be adjusted so they fit each person and are tight enough on the face to not move. “They also have a cute little P for Perry and they are our school colors” adds Voronova. 

Along with the masks, the girls have distance rules for when they are on the track and will be getting their temperatures checked before being allowed in the gates. Most of the requirements they have for the games are the same that were in place for their practices. 

The team has been training off and on since June, but have made sure to follow all these district protocols and take as many precautions as possible while still getting in their training. “It has been extremely hard adjusting to masks while practicing but we do have time to take a breath,” says Varsity member Hallie Kimball, adding “we have been working so hard to perfect the stunts despite the circumstances.”

So, considering all the cautions the team has to take to be on the sidelines, the performances will look pretty much the same. They will be stunting and will be dancing, but skills they will be performing may not be as hard as previous ones due to circumstances.

“It is illegal to [compete] certain stunts with masks,” says Kimball, adding that they will not be doing those specific stunts at games in order to be safe. 

In spite of all the difficulties and uncertainties the team has been through, they have been doing their best to keep up with their training. They have been practicing on and off since June but never let the breaks in between get the best of them.

Coach Houg explains how “the second we were allowed to stunt again [the girls] hit the ground running,” adding how they “rep and rep until they get something down, and then they will rep some more.” She describes them as “a no excuses team, which is going to benefit them greatly this year.”