Although their numbers are low the NHIS Cheerleading team rises up to lift school spirit, the community and the football team.
The Cheerleading team’s biggest challenge this year is trying to create the same spirit as past generations with a small squad.
Valerie Luna, Cheerleading coach, said, ”So far the biggest challenge this year is trying to build back the cheer program the way it was before.”
Another challenge are negative comments about the Cheerleading team.
The Cheerleaders said they don’t care about what people think about how small they are and how they don’t do stunts.
The Cheerleaders know that they have not reached their potential and they continue to practice and improve each week.
Kaui Leong, grade 10 cheerleader, said, “It’s normal for me because I get so much bad comments about us. I don’t get mad at that. Friends are supportive and we treat each other like family.”
Many of the Cheerleaders have been inspired and motivated to join the Cheerleading team. Some were inspired by a movie and some for their education.
JuliAnn Unpingco, grade 10 cheerleader, said, “The movie Bring It On inspired me to be a cheerleader because I love that movie so much”
“I’m doing this for my resume, because you can get a good scholarship with cheerleading and watching cheering competitions inspires me.” said Leong
Luna said the most rewarding experience about being the coach is “To keep the school spirit and tradition going from generation to generation for the love of the community and school. Also, contributing back to my Alma Mater for all the knowledge, skills and school spirit that I gained as a NHIS Cheerleader myself.”
Justin Mangrobang, a senior at NHIS joined the cheerleading team this year.
“Well I think the squad is actually pretty fun. We do a lot of cheers and practice, and we all get along.”
The Cheerleaders said that they think it is brave for boys to come up and cheer in front of an audience because most of them don’t have experience.
The Cheerleaders won’t be competing this year because they are working on the basic skills and not the competing skills such as stunting, tumbling, and back handsprings.
Luna said, ”We don’t have a big place to practice and cheer mats to practice tumbling. We need to get all the equipment and skills we need first to compete.”