Webb needs a cheer squad

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Webb needs a cheer squad

Fran Torres (‘22), Howard Chandler (‘22), Emma Holliday (‘22), Cayden Lazier (‘20), and Mia Baldwin (‘22) make Webb’s first cheer squad.

Fran Torres (‘22), Howard Chandler (‘22), Emma Holliday (‘22), Cayden Lazier (‘20), and Mia Baldwin (‘22) make Webb’s first cheer squad.

Janina Akporavbare

Fran Torres (‘22), Howard Chandler (‘22), Emma Holliday (‘22), Cayden Lazier (‘20), and Mia Baldwin (‘22) make Webb’s first cheer squad.

Janina Akporavbare

Janina Akporavbare

Fran Torres (‘22), Howard Chandler (‘22), Emma Holliday (‘22), Cayden Lazier (‘20), and Mia Baldwin (‘22) make Webb’s first cheer squad.

It is the volleyball league finals, and eager Webbies cram into the Les Perry Gym bleachers. Their eyes dart from the players up to the scoreboard that displays in bold numbers that the score is 24 to 23; Webb needs one more point to win. Sweat drips from shaking hands and craning necks. The stands creak after every ecstatic jump; roars of encouragement echo off the wall as the school unites into one large body with the single hope of making sure that the volleyball team wins their game. The team is appreciative of the combined effort, and each chant of “V-W-S” helps the players propel the game-winning serve over the net. 

Though the school is happy that the volleyball team has pulled off a gigantic win, you cannot shake the idea that something was missing. Was it the fact that there was fluff ice instead of boba at the game? Or was it that the pink was not pink enough or eardrum-blowing screams were not peppy enough? No, none of that could shake the feeling that something was missing because there was no cheerleading squad at the game. The volleyball team acknowledges the role that spirit has in their gameplay and feels this ache. 

Webb is built upon traditions: community dinner, chapel, Signing-in-Ceremony, and much more. Without them, the school would not be the same – a certain essence would be missing. Why is cheerleading not a Webb tradition? 

As explained in Kaityln De Armas’s (‘21) article, “Should Webb have a cheer team?”, one reason Webb does not have a cheerleading team is because of the potential lack of gender equality. Sexism in the sport could be easily solved by Webb fostering a co-ed team. This decision should be supported by the administration. Students clearly support it already.

Lydia Toy (‘20) said, “A few guys on the football team are like Webb’s little cheerleaders, especially Stephen Li [‘21], Chris Haliburton [‘20], and especially Cayden Lazier [‘20], who would be a real cheerleader.” 

Anthony Villalobos (‘22) said, “I’d totally be a cheerleader. I have a friend who does parkour and he does cheerleading and it’s super cool.”

Fran Torres (‘22) said, “I’d be so down to do that, who wouldn’t enjoy flinging themselves up into the air!”

WSC students are open, and furthermore ecstatic to meet the welcoming arms of this potential cheer squad, demolishing all claims for the sport’s “sexism.”

The sophomore class seems to be the pioneers of this pressing issue. Mia Baldwin (‘22), often referred to as the leader of this revolution-in-progress, said, “Cheerleading would be a way to support not only the football team but also any other sports team at the school. Also, there are students who have gymnastic talent, who would like to express that but there is no space for them here. I believe that having a cheerleading team, getting some fun uniforms, and making it be a co-ed sport would actually be very interesting.”

Howard Chandler (‘22),sophomore class vice president, said,“I think that would be really good because that would help with encouraging the spirit and would bring more people to those events and games because more spirit could equal more people and with more people supporting the games could go way better.”

Not only does this movement have the unfailing support of the sophomore class, but very importantly they have the approval of the athletes themselves. 

Jenny Han (‘21), who is on the volleyball team said, “Cheerleading would be an interesting option to be offered as an afternoon activity if, like any other newly proposed afternoon activities, it has communal support or generated interest. It would be interesting to see how this activity impacts the webb community.”

A cheerleading team would enrich the Webb high school experience. The sophomore class has picked a time to demand change and could even guide it to becoming an official afternoon activity. 

Steve Wishek, Director of Athletics, said, “I am always happy to have conversations, my door is always open. [Cheerleading], if wanted to be made into an official team, would go through the same process of formation like any other afternoon activity.”

Though the movement seems to be met with open arms, there is still some opposition to this.

Mr. Wishek brought up the point that Webb has finite resources and with the introduction of a new afternoon activity, and an old one may have to leave. It is because it will need space, coaches, funding, and more, all of which would require huge interest from the student body and the abolishment of another afternoon activity. 

This is why the request for a lacrosse team could not be metas there are a lot of spring sports, which means there is not enough space nor people for the potential team to use. Is Webb, at its current state, ready to bring up the same discussion with the case of adding a cheerleading team? Are students willing to lose in order to gain? 

This potential loss may have its negatives, but it could launch Webb into the future. A co-ed cheerleading team squashes all claims of sexism in the sport and redefines what it means to be a cheerleader. This addition would make Webb spirit stronger and in turn, could possibly lead to greater attendance at sports games as well as more game wins overall.

Old ways die hard, sometimes they must die because our world is progressing into the future and injustices of the past must be righted. Cheerleading does not have to be a breeding ground for sexism. Webb, in its current state, has the resources and mindset to foster a squad that would positively affect and unify the community. The sophomore class is putting into action what many have thought of in the past and taking it on as their mission in order to further enrich the unique and inclusive community at Webb.