Cheerleaders Compete for Victory

December 12, 2022

Bright smiles walk out onto the mat, ready to shout battle cries for their Warriors. 

Susquehannock’s competitive cheerleaders are among many female athletes partaking in this sport across the nation. 

Junior Arielle Wilson is the captain of Susquehannock’s cheerleading team.  She is grateful for the opportunity to lead her teammates to victory. 

“It meant a lot honestly [when I was elected captain]… I appreciate the girls being able to trust me and giving me the responsibility,” Wilson said. “It is kind of…an honor actually.”

Head coach Krista Walsh explains that there are different parts of the routine that the team gets evaluated on. 

“There are two portions… a cheer portion and then they have a music portion, so each one of those are judged separately, but go into one final score,” Walsh said. 

Sophomore Cassidy Derkosh expresses how stressful it can be to strive for perfection during a routine. 

“[In] the moment, nothing else matters except your routine and team,” Derkosh said. “Every moment leading up to it is very nerve-wracking.”

All sports teams and clubs need to have a relationship with one another in order to perform to their best abilities. Wilson believes that since they all have the same aspirations, it is easier for them to get along.

“We all have the same values and goals, so it has really helped us all [to] get along,” Wilson said.

Derkosh feels as if the team is like a family.

“Our team gets along really well,” Derkosh said. “We are like a bunch of siblings and can be ourselves around one another.”

Even if the team does not place first, Walsh and her fellow coach, Jennifer Beste, will always be proud of what the team has accomplished. 

“I don’t think it’s always about winning first… these girls have so much talent that they have not had in the past,” Walsh said. “Coach Beste and I always say that they are our number one show no matter what.”

The cheerleaders are not the only ones who make up the team, it is the coaches who deserve a lot of credit for forming the team into what it is today.

“I think we have a fantastic group of coaches,” Derkosh said. “They are all very supportive and willing to help you.”

Wilson’s main goal for the team is to make it to states and win. 

“…It would be amazing…,” Wilson said.  “It will take a lot of hard work because we are going against very good teams which have enormous schools, meaning they have a lot of girls to choose from.” 

When peers say that cheerleading is not a sport, Derkosh has something to say.

“I think there is a common misconception about the amount of work we must put in each and every day,” Derkosh said. “Cheer is a sport not everyone can execute well, and it is our job to make it look easy and flow smoothly. I personally believe cheerleading is a sport because it fits all the requirements to be considered one.”

With the competition cheer team being fairly new, Walsh has high hopes to add to the high school’s sports atmosphere by bringing home a victory-laden reputation.

“I hope to bring home some banners for the gym,” Walsh said.

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