By Kristiana Koker ’15
Senior Emely Chamorro balances her grades and social life with her time-demanding cheer schedule for the Don Bosco Technical Institute. She has cheered for the team for two years of high school, but her interest in cheer goes back much longer – in fact, to kindergarten, when she first tried it and then continued to do it all through middle school.
Chamorro says she first decided to try cheer because of her own sisters’ experience, but she soon feel in love with the sport. Cheer, she explains, is an outlet for stress, a way to stay in shape, and a source of healthy competition and sportsmanship.
Although cheering with some of your closest friends seems like a dream, Chamorro believes that cheer is more than just an extracurricular activity. She points out, “In order to be involved with cheer, one must be willing to give up other activities, such as spending time with family and friends.”
Giving up time with loved ones can be hard, as is the constant pressure brought on by the need to succeed in school while engaging in this sport. Cheer is year-round, with the girls cheering during football, basketball, cross-country, and soccer seasons. Practices are three days a week, spanning an average of three hours a day. Including the two days of games, as well as a fourth day of practice and competitions, cheerleading can take up six days out of the week.
“During the rigorous cheer season, it is important for the cheerleaders to remain dedicated,” notes Chamorro. “The most essential part of cheer is that we are all in it together. We practice together, compete together, and cheer together.”
Out of all the sports she cheers for, Chamorro feels most excited about cheering for either basketball or football. The energy and adrenaline that both sports bring gives the cheerleaders a sense of pride and appreciation for the crowd. Cheering for these events, combined with the feeling of sisterhood from being on a team, has inspired Chamorro to continue cheerleading in college. Unsure whether she will be ready to join her freshman year, Chamorro hopes she will have mastered the cheer tricks to make the team her sophomore year at Cal State Northridge.
Even with her plans to continue on with the sport, Chamorro will miss her time as a Don Bosco cheerleader. “I will miss wearing the team colors and knowing that my friends are besides me, cheering for the same reason I do,” she says. “The hard work and passion that filled us while on the team is going to be difficult to replicate or replace.”
Cheer, a sport encapsulated by love, friendship, dedication, and even stress, is the one aspect of her life that Chamorro does not want to end. Luckily, with her persevering attitude, her cheer career will continue.