Most people perceive cheerleaders in a stereotypical fashion as dumb blonde barbies and drama queens. "I think that it is definitely a misconception and I think that if people would take the time to observe and understand the components in cheerleading they would realize that it is a sport," said coach Jennifer Vallem. Contrary to popular belief, the cheerleaders are actually extremely athletic. During practice, which takes place every day after school, they exercise to the point of having a red face and sweat dripping down their bodies. They condition and practice their stunts. On top of practicing, the girls have approximately three to five days to memorize the dance steps before they must perform in front of the crowd.
The general public has no idea how hard the girls work to perfect their athletic skills. According to Kayla Hall, junior, "They don't come to our practices, they don't see what we do." There is a lot to it that people don't see. Not all cheerleaders deserve the wrap they have. The cheerleaders study to get good grades and try to stay out of trouble. Cheerleaders are actually interested in making something of themselves. Kayla Hall wants to go to the University of Wyoming to become a kindergarten teacher. Morgan Carrico wants to be a pediatric surgeon, and Carli Griffith wants to go into graphic design and photography.
The mini skirts the girls wear are not, in fact, to look cute. They are short for safety reasons. When doing stunts, if the girls were to wear longer skirts or pants they could catch on something and cause a serious injury. Some may think that the skirts are too short and too revealing, but coach Vallem thinks that they are an appropriate length for the stunting aspect of cheer.
The girls want to do some fundraisers in order to go to competitions. They would also like to get new uniforms because they have had their current ones for the past six years. Some of the cheerleaders get teased and although they say that most is just ribbing and not meant to be mean, some comments go too far.
The cheerleaders are not sure as to how to change the stereotype the community holds. "When you are in the public eye, it is so stressful because people are actually judging you for what you do," said junior Morgan Carrico. People need to take time to realize it is a sport and it isn't easy. These girls are full of hard work and dedication.