After having only six girls participate on the squad last year, the Eastern cheerleaders are proud to introduce a completely new team this winter. The squad boasts 14 members this year, with 3 returners and a lot of new and experienced faces who are eager and ready to rally students and spectators at basketball games. The squad has been working hard this year in the off-season, staying fit and participating in open gyms before tryouts.
Head coach Christine Atkins and assistant coach Alexandra Riggs have transitioned into the program, helping to build the program tremendously. They are ready to guide the squad to success this season and for many more to come.
Team captains, junior Cassie Ridge and senior Soilymar Centeno, are especially excited for the new year. They see a lot of potential in the team already. Many of the newcomers have previous experience, so the team has been able to learn a plethora of new stunts, cheers, and dances. When asked about what they are most anticipating, Cassie and Soilymar agree that they cannot wait to perform at half time during basketball games—they are ready to be taken seriously as a united sports team on campus.
Ridge states, “Cheerleading is a real sport. We don’t have equipment, we lift each other.” She adds that the floor and gravity are always against them, and they have to work collaboratively with one another in order to make a show come together well and protect one another. Both captains remark that the team is developing good chemistry, which is extremely important because as Soilymar says, there is “never one star in cheerleading—we have to depend on each other.”
The cheerleaders will be preforming at all home men’s and women’s basketball games during halftime. Their first performance will be on November 19 when both basketball teams go head-to-head in the “battle of Eagle Road” against Cabrini.