Next Year’s Cheer

Next+Year%27s+Cheer

Eve Nguyen, Staff Writer

A big part of LASA student culture is football games. At these football games, the cheerleading team contributes to the high-spirited atmosphere by getting the crowd excited and engaged.
However, according to junior Audrey Trujillo, who has been on the LASA/LBJ cheerleading team since her sophomore year and will be a leading member of the LASA cheerleading team in the 2020-2021 school year when LASA athletics splits from LBJ, cheerleading has not been the most popular sport among LASA students in the past few years.

There were only three LASA students on the LASA/LBJ cheer team this year, despite the benefits of the program, according to Trujillo. Ever since Trujillo joined the team, she has enjoyed the extracurricular because of the opportunities that it gives her, specifically socially.

“I like that you get to go to all the games. That’s pretty cool, and then you also get to meet new people,” Trujillo said. “You build a friendship with new people that you didn’t really expect, and you get to know new people.”

Trujillo said the current LASA/LBJ cheerleading team is very open with one another. She also characterizes the team as a group of people who she feels very comfortable around.

“It’s a community within itself, it’s more like a family,” Trujillo said. “You can just go to them and talk about whatever, and they’re really open to listening, and they’re willing to help you with your problems. Mainly sister bonding.”

The cheerleading team gets a lot of its practice done over the summer through workshops where the team learns new skills, cheers and stunts. During these summer workshops, the cheerleading team also establishes stunt groups, which allow the team to be more organized when performing at athletic or spirit events. Trujillo said these summer workshops are very serious and useful opportunities to practice, making for shorter and less frequent practices during the school year.

“We practice twice a week or three times a week after school, mainly Tuesdays and Thursdays because you have games on Fridays and pep rallies,” Trujillo said. “It’s an hour long practice, and we just work on either teaching new skills or stunts.”

The cheerleading practice schedule may change next year when the LASA/LBJ cheer program splits into two separate cheer teams. Although Trujillo said this is an exciting change for LASA because the school will get its own cheer team that will help to represent the school’s new mascot and colors, the separation from LBJ will take a lot of getting used to.

“Next year I think it’s going to be a lot different because the main focus is getting people on the team,” Trujillo said. “The objective of the new cheer team is more stunts, more of not necessarily chanting and cheers, it’s more showing off flips and stunts just to get the crowd more excited and just really trying to engage the crowd with the game and school spirit.”

Trujillo plans on playing a significant role in helping get next year’s LASA cheer team up on its feet. Hoping to be the captain of the new LASA cheer team, Trujillo will be a mentor that other new cheerleaders can look up to because of her past experience. As one of the future leaders of the LASA cheer squad, Trujillo already has certain hopes and expectations for the attitude on the team.

“I feel like we want a team that’s open to learning because the situation is new,” Trujillo said. “We want people that are willing to say, ‘Hey, I’m not the best at this, but I’ll try my hardest.’ We also just want to work on building relationships.”

As for who will be on the new LASA cheerleading team with Trujillo next year, a lot is still unknown. LASA’s new athletic director Bryan Crews noticed that a lot of students indicated interest in joining the cheer team on a poll sent out by LASA administration.

“There were quite a few girls that checked cheerleading off on that Google survey, so there’s interest for sure,” Crews said. “Once we get a coach in place, then the coach can start to determine all the particulars.”

However, since cheerleading is one of the smaller sports teams that LASA will have, Crews said there are still a lot of unknowns about the cheer team, such as who the coach will be and how many people will be on the team. He expects the program to start to shape up once LASA hires a coach.

Junior Elena Baldridge hopes to be on the cheerleading team next year and is awaiting this information. Like Trujillo, Baldridge also has certain hopes for what the new cheer team will look like, though she admitted that she isn’t quite sure what to expect from the team since it will be a new experience.

“I think that there should be focus on the cheer skills themselves, but I think that our team really needs to prioritize having fun,” Baldridge said. “I also think the most important part of a team is the support they provide.”

Another unknown, aside from what the cheer team will look like next year, is cheer’s new role in representing LASA and engaging the student section. LASA and LBJ have historically shared a cheer team.

“I think the cheer team will definitely have a more significant meaning next year after LASA’s split because it’s LASA’s chance to redefine the team,” Baldridge said. “I know the hope is that there can be more focus on tricks which will be a big deal for us, because the LASA/LBJ team never did too much of that.”

Overall, a significant amount of interest has been shown for the LASA cheerleading team. Baldridge looks forward to joining the fun team environment in the future.

“I want to be a cheerleader next year because I love being a part of a team,” Baldridge said. “I think cheer will be super fun because it’s not as competitive as a lot of high school sports, and I just love sports that let you work hard while also being a little bit goofy.”