Cheer team rebrands to become co-ed

CWU Cheer team lined up on the football sidelines.

Jacob Thompson

CWU Cheer team lined up on the football sidelines.

Jacqueline Hixssen, Staff Reporter

New head coach Brooke Wales rebrands the cheer team to make room for new members.  

According to freshman flyer Sabreena Kemp, the team will be co-ed this season. 

“People will be surprised with our new look that we’re bringing to next season from going from all girls to co-ed,” Kemp said.

This last season the team was considered all-girl even though they had one man on their team. A cheer team cannot be considered a co-ed team unless the team has at least two men, according to Junior main base Asael Aburto. 

Prior to Aburto, CWU Cheer had never had a man on their team. The previous coach told Aburto he could try out but made it clear she wanted it to stay an all-girl team. 

Wales accepted the head coach position of the cheer team early during the 2021-22 season. The previous cheer coach hosted tryouts and built a team now coached by Wales.

According to Aburto the team is looking for 20-22 cheerleaders for their program, with a mix of group and partner stunts.  

“This is going to be a really different year for our cheer program, and I am really excited to see where our program leads,” said Aburto.

The cheer team cheers for sports during fall and winter quarters, leaving spring quarter as their offseason.  

Cheer is not a sport athletes can take a break from without losing skills, according to Kemp. Kemp said staying active throughout the offseason is vital for in-season success.  

“I still continue to stretch and work out every day just to keep my body moving.” Kemp said. “At least once or twice a week I ask teammates to tumble just to continue to stay active.”  

 Aburto said that to him, cheer is an all-season sport.

“Even if it is the off-season and we don’t have actual games, we always are involved with cheer no matter what,” Aburto said.

The cheer team does more than cheer for other teams, they are also active members in the community.  

“We do events around town like the Labor Day parade and then we have also looked into doing the Suncadia golf tournament,” Kemp said.  

The optimistic attitude students see from the cheerleaders is not faux; according to Aburto the team is very community-related.

 “We love our community. We love representing. We love showing up to all these events. We just love being there,” Aburto said.

According to Kemp the team is able to stay motivated even in the offseason.

 “Our practices during the school year are like two and a half hours, but once we start the season during summertime it’s an all-day thing,” Kemp said. “We start at 9 a.m. and we don’t end until 3 p.m. If you’re not prepared for that during the offseason then during the season you will struggle.” 

The cheer team has started preparing for the next event: tryouts. Aburto said only Wales knows who will be returning. No spots on the team are reserved for returners.  

Tryouts will be held May 14 and 15 in Nicholson Pavilion. If students are interested in becoming a CWU cheerleader, students can find tryout packets and information by going to the CWU Athletics page, click the ‘Inside Athletics’ drop-down menu and select cheerleading.