Being A Cheerleader in the Mercy-IND Big Game
January 27, 2020
The Mercy-IND game is the most competitive game of the school year. Teachers sit front row to watch the action, students sit in the student section, and family members watch from the top of the stadium, pretzel and a coke in hand. Students can be seen cheering from the sidelines, and parents join in as well. The preparation leading up to this big game is immense and sometimes so incredibly stressful that tears are shed moments before nervous cheerleaders walk on the court for halftime. Pep Squad has been practicing their pre-show routine for months now, and it looks pristine. Perfectly in sync, these girls managed to create a routine that makes us look powerful in front of our opponents. As for the basketball players, they’ve been playing game after game, and running lap after lap–all so that they can out run and out smart our opponent team.
I am a cheerleader. Every Wednesday and Thursday after school I stretch, condition, cheer, jump, dance, and stunt so that the routine can be perfect for the Big Game. Some days, it feels like no progress is made, and other days, it feels like much progress is made. As a team, we get frustrated with each other and ourselves at times, and that can be challenging. When you’re working in close quarters with people and have a common goal that teammates want to meet in different ways, it can be frustrating. Nonetheless, we are a team, and we spend a lot of time asking each other for help and advice. Throughout my entire high school career, my team and I have had four different coaches. This has been difficult for us, as we’ve had to get adjusted to different coaches with different styles. Through it all, we have managed to pull off amazing half time shows with hard work and determination.
Each night leading up to the big game, I stand in front of the bathroom mirror, counting consecutive counts of eight and trying to memorize the motions for all the counts. My concentration skyrockets, and I feel a burst of energy and happiness when I hit my high V and when I eventually effortlessly memorize the routine.
I fall asleep each night, wondering, “Will I mess up?” I think, “Will I forget?” I am now a senior, and sometimes I must remind myself that under pressure, each year at the Big Game I have never messed up. I have always delivered and have given it my everything. The stress leading up to the event is pointless. When my teammates and I get onto the floor, I am alive and having the most fun I could possibly have. As a senior, I am looking forward to the rush and the feeling of fun as I prepare for the Big Game—instead of the stress that used to consume me.
Be prepared for Mercy High School cheerleaders; we put our heart and soul into making the Big Game what it is.