Updated: Nov 13, 2019
The Petaluma High cheerleaders are tasked with being the most spirited members of the student body, but that comes with a lot of hard work. They perform at every football game including away games, which is a huge commitment when paired with schoolwork and other responsibilities.
If the team chooses to continue beyond the football and regular sports seasons, the team is committed to cheer for nearly the entire year and has practices very frequently. Over the summer, roughly 20 girls on the varsity cheerleading squad went to two overnight camps, in which the team trained, learned new skills, bonded and just had fun. A big part of why some people joined the team was to try something new and make new friends, which is very appealing to many students, especially those just entering high school.
Jayln Freedman, a junior in her third year on the team, said, “I wanted to join the cheer team because I tried a lot of sports and nothing really seemed to fit. Once I got to high school I just figured to try it, to do something new, and it just clicked.”
To be on the team, you have to have or build a lot of trust in your teammates. Kiersten Pate, freshman, said, “It’s a trust sport, and you have to trust everyone on a team. If you don't trust one person then it won’t do anything for you. Everyone kind of just clicked at tryouts.” The team has gone through tough times, such as having different 3 different coaches in the past 3 years and some girls choosing to leave the team. However, the challenges have only brought the team closer together and strengthened their trust in each other.
One of the main strengths of the team is their strong relationship, which helps to build more trust, two very important aspects of the sport. “A lot of teams we've seen aren’t as close as we are,” Freedman said. “We really like to be close and we have our goofy days whereas a lot of other teams are more serious... We have good chemistry,” she continued.
Freedman also referenced the team’s high stunting ability, which she attributes to their determination “to push [themselves] further.” The team’s bond makes a much stronger team, which is a big advantage for stunting and overall morale.
The impenetrable bond the team has played a major factor in shaping the players into a well-built team. Even with some rough patches, they pull through and use their wide range of skills to put on performances and compete.