Football Friday nights: an atmosphere filled with an obnoxiously loud student section, a dedicated football team, a spirited band, and of course energetic cheerleaders on the sidelines. This season, the cheerleaders have brought a whole new meaning of pioneer pride.
Senior Jordan Betz has had immense contribution to the new direction that the squad has taken. According to Betz, the talent of the cheerleaders is the same but the atmosphere is completely different.
“It is more of one big squad instead of varsity only talking to varsity,” Betz said. “We were always together whether it was the Friday night games, or supporting the JV and freshmen cheerleaders at their games.”
In addition to the squads seeing each other at games, they also made time to continue their friendships outside of the sport.
This summer, all squads went to the UCA cheer camp to strengthen the bonds between teammates and prepare for the upcoming season.
Sophomore Natalie Niemiec was one of two sophomores on varsity this year. According to Niemiec, the camp really helped the season start on a positive note.
“Cheer has definitely changed this year, everyone has made an effort to be friends with one another,” Niemiec said. “We love each other and I’m going to miss this season so much cheering with this awesome group of girls. I love being a Neerleader.”
Not only have the cheerleaders themselves become unified, but also this year a new type of unity between the football players, the band and the cheerleaders has formed.
“Being on the field dancing with the band was the best feeling; even when the score wasn’t going well, we had so much fun cheering the team on.” Niemiec said. According to both Betz and Niemiec, it was a great feeling being appreciated by both the band and the football team.
“I hope that the Orange Cheerleading program stays as unified throughout the squads as we were this year because it made my senior season one I will never forget.” Betz said.