3 fun facts about your varsity football cheerleaders


Photo courtesy of Mrs. Anne Marie Hooper

The varsity football cheerleaders gather together before the annual Pink Out game against Oconee County on Friday, October 11.

When you see the varsity cheerleading team every week on the sidelines, you only get to watch the end result of all their hard work, but do you really know what goes on behind the scenes? Here are three things you need to know about this year’s squad.

1. They prefer being on the sidelines rather than being in the stands with their classmates

Most of the student body looks forward to watching the game in the Jungle, but do the cheerleaders feel the same way?

“No. It’s so much fun [cheering from the sidelines] especially when they are winning,” junior Kathryn Hedenquist said.

Junior Sydney Kidd agreed. “I really like cheering and seeing everyone in the stands. Cheering down there is really fun and I love being close to the field,” she said

Senior Campbell Hollensbe said that her role as a cheerleader gives her a unique perspective.

“I think when you are on the track it is fun to see the game, and you really still are part of the stands, but you also get to lead them so you get a more personal experience,” she explained.

2. Cheering in bigger games against rival schools is fun, but the squad said they actually prefer cheering against easier opponents

Marist and Blessed Trinity get all the hype from the fans, so why do the cheerleaders like the smaller games more?

“For me, it’s more tension playing the schools we should beat because they have nothing on the line, but the big ones are still fun,” Henedquist said.

The girls also said there’s a greater sense of unity in the stands when the Golden Lions are winning and beating up on their opponents. 

“When we are losing, everyone’s spirit in the stands are down and we have to keep it up, but when we win everyone is jumping up and down and having a really good time,” Kidd said.

3. The cheerleaders are busier than you think with lots of behind-the-scenes preparation 

There’s a lot that goes into a season, and it extends far beyond what most people are aware of. For example, they attend strength and conditioning workouts over the summer just like every other sport at St. Pius.

“We have summer workouts, but they are hard to go to because I also have [competition cheer] practice on top of that,” Hedenquist said.

Another important element of their summer preparation is their annual cheer camp at the University of Georgia.

“It is a good learning experience and a good bonding time for the team,” Hollensbe added.

Junior Laura Claxton agreed. “We share hotel rooms with mixed grades, so we get to better know the freshmen and underclassmen,” she explained.

Summer is also when the squad makes all of the banners that the football team runs through before each game.

So the next time you see the squad on the sidelines leading the Jungle in a classic cheer, just know that their season is a whole lot more than what meets the eye.