Cheer for Equality

Cam+High%27s+cheer+squad+practices+in+the+cafeteria

Photo By: Alex Rozbicki

Cam High's cheer squad practices in the cafeteria

Expectations for success are high as Cam High’s cheerleading team plans to have their first ever co-ed tryouts this April in preparation for their movement into the Marmonte League during the 2014-15 school year.

The concept of co-ed cheer has always been a topic of debate because of the widely believed stereotype that cheer is primarily feminine and should be kept so. It is a given that at least some boys would be more than willing to try out for the squad, but peer pressure, especially in high school, often plays a large role in who tries out.

“It’s sad that peer judgement has such a great effect on decisions, but it does,” said Sophie Chamaa, junior and former cheerleader. “Guys are afraid that they’ll be judged or made fun of, especially since cheerleading has always been known as a primarily feminine sport.”

Contrary to popular belief, cheerleading may not be as feminine as is previously thought. “What they don’t see is the high level of difficulty that you need to hold somebody that’s 100 pounds,” said Ms. Amy Streicher, Cam High’s cheer coach. “Guys get picked up for scholarships so quickly with co-ed programs.” Due to the numberof girls that do cheer, the few boys that decide to participate are more easily noticed by collegiate-level teams.

In addition to the increased possibility of scholarships for male cheerleaders, the stunts at the high school level have also become similar to that of a collegiate team. Instead of having multiple girls throw one girl into the air, one male can do the same trick, producing more difficult and crowd-pleasing performances according to Streicher.

“We’ll be able to do more technical stunts that look better than before,” said Emily Pesicka, junior and Cam High cheerleader.