The Art of Cheerleading

Grace Pizzini, Staff Writer

Pom-poms, football games, and bows. These are things that most people think of when they think of cheerleading. As someone who has been cheerleading for six years, I can tell you that the cheer team at Glen Ridge High School does so much more than that. Our cheer team plays an integral role in school spirit in addition to being a physically demanding sport. 

When I joined the team in my freshman year, the unique position the sport is in surprised me and has become one of my favorite things about being a cheerleader at Glen Ridge High School. On the athletic side, the cheer team is at every football game to cheer on the team. We do this by standing on the track in organized lines and yelling encouragements at the field. At regular intervals we do a choreographed cheer facing the stands. At the end of the first and third quarter we do a longer, more complex cheer that sometimes includes stunts. At home games, the cheer team works with the marching band to perform a band dance after every Ridger touchdown as well as at regular intervals. 

In the fall, the cheer team goes to one competition: Cheer for the Cure at Foley Field in Bloomfield. This competition raises awareness and funds for breast cancer. 

On the school spirit side, the cheer team is responsible for a lot. To start, we paint the banners that the football team runs through at every home game. You also may have noticed the locker posters as you have walked through the hallways. Every year the cheer team paints a locker poster for every senior playing a fall sport and hangs them up on the morning of the pep rally. These posters are very appreciated as many athletes take them to college. For the football/band/cheerleading senior day, the cheer team makes senior day poster for each senior football player. 

Overall, the cheer team does a lot for school spirit. This year, the cheer team got a new coach: Nicole Brignola. She coached the GRAA’s competition cheer team for over five years. She is familiar with the girls on the team and the familiar face makes the new freshmen feel more comfortable. The cheer team has been working on this year’s halftime show for the past few weeks, which premiered at the homecoming game on October 5th. At cheer for the Cure on October 15th, the cheer team placed 4th in the colonial division.