The Cleveland cheerleaders bring the strength of the warrior to our sports teams 11 months out of the year. They are passionate about what they do and work extremely hard to create an atmosphere that helps other Cleveland athletes to put everything they’ve got into their game and succeed.
This year things have changed for the cheerleaders. Head coach Heidi Sause had a baby and left halfway through football season on maternity leave. With this adjustment coming into play, assistant coach Niki Trueblood stepped up and led the team with the help of their captains.
Secondly, Cleveland cheer is no longer competing in competitions rather solely cheering for the school. “There are two different types of cheerleading, there is your school cheer and then there is cheer teams that really focus on competition,” said senior captain Kaytlin Gaines. “I think that we have the ability to compete for sure but it’s not in our plan.” Without competition impeding on time, it allows for the group to focus on their school and community and do what’s best for them in order to achieve greatness.
Over the summer the team attended cheer camp. Juniors Copper Hull, Jasmy’n Sango, and Shantae Sango were all honored as All American. All American is a very prestigious award and they were recognized nationwide for their accomplishment. Jasmy’n also earned the Royal C award for her strength of character and commitment to the sport.
In October, the team brought the Cleveland student body to its feet with their radical performance at homecoming. They were joined by several football players and danced their way to screams and applause from the crowd. Together, they showed that they have immense skill as well as the bond that makes a good team, a great team. They form a close-knit community all taking care of one another.
Captain Jasmy’n and her other cheer captains help to keep the team in a line. “I call cheers, make sure everyone on the team is passing. I think about the team and if anything is wrong, make sure I’m there for them,” she said. Gaines replied, “There’s a lot of behind the scenes things that we do.”
The cheerleaders are now chanting their way into basketball season. Coach Sause is coming back later this winter and they are working on improving themselves to achieve bigger and better things. Come watch them cheer at the Cleveland boys’ varsity basketball game on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cleveland gym.