“I was so close to quitting this year,” junior cheerleader Sujei Sanchez admitted as her third year on the squad is coming to an end. “It got close for everyone.”
“Everybody had those days where we would get annoyed with each other,” Victoria Lancaster said after her one and only season as a high school cheerleader. “The fact that we would have to come in on our own time to do chorography. It’s my senior year and I wanted to try it, but there were times that I would get so frustrated I would want to quit. But in life, when something gets tough, you can’t just quit.”
“We have the highest injury rate of any sport. We're actually higher than football,” freshman Lauren Rogers added. “Sujei got hurt right before our competition. We had to carry her around, but she still performed.”
When the boys basketball season comes to an end, it will also mark the end of the longest and most difficult sports season at Alpine High School. Some cheerleaders admitted that after all the fun and excitement of football and pep rally, it can be tough to stay motivated.
“Football season is so much fun,” Rogers said. “The games go by really fast when you are cheering.”
What follows is competition season and District basketball games twice a week. Nailing down a routine is exhausting and repetitive. Both head coaches, Sandra Fellows and Linda Morris, are well liked by their team, even though they can be just as demanding as any other coach at the school.
The Netflix reality show, Cheer, is extremely popular among the cheerleading team. Although the Buck routines are not as difficult or dangerous as the attempts Navarro College tries, it does remind them of the kind of competitions that a lot of them took part in when they were younger.
Sanchez has drawn some interest from a couple of Division III schools, and wants to keep working on the mat in college. She even said a couple of family members want her to try to go to Navarro College, the perennial Junior College National Champions.
“Honestly I think she could,” Lancaster said. “She already tumbles like them, and she’s a flyer. She’s flown since she was little. With her just preparing and getting better, it's going to be possible.”