SCHS spirit squad returns to perform at in-person football games


Courtesy of Zianna Razon

Many spirit squad members are grateful for the opportunity to perform and practice physically instead of through Zoom.

Despite the pandemic raging on, the spirit squad, comprised of the cheer team and dance team, continue the tradition of representing SCHS by cheering at school events. Once state guidelines allowed them to start practice one week before their cheer date on March 25, the team cheered at two football games for the first time since the 2019-2020 school year.

Before this change, the teams would practice via Zoom in order to follow COVID restrictions. For many, however, this detracted from the team energy. 

“The Spirit Squad has had virtual tryouts and practice since the pandemic hit,” freshman cheer team member Alexa Robles said. “Once we found out that we were able to have in-person conditioning, we started practices right away.” 

The team had their routines showcased at previous virtual events this year, but with in-person practices resuming, it has become easier for them to rehearse together on campus. 

“We have performed at the Welcome and Diversity Rally as well as the Talent Show,” freshman dance team member Sadie Rios said. “As of right now, we are preparing to perform at the Homecoming parade, as well as football games that are in-person.” 

Robles said that even with the previous all-virtual program, the team has still been able to connect and produce videos for events this year. 

“We’ve still managed to put together performances and learn our cheers to be ready for any scenario,” Robles said. 

Senior dance team member Alyssa Montes explained how the team has stayed close virtually  throughout the year. 

“We’ve recorded dances over Zoom for other rallies that we’ve had online. The Talent Show, for example. We recorded a dance and sent that in,” Montes said. “For Homecoming, we’re recording a dance together this time and sending it in and it will be on video.” 

With multiple upcoming scheduled events and practices in person, the Spirit Squad has had to follow certain safety guidelines to remain safe. Similarly to the spirit squad, SCHS sports on campus also had to stay safe during the pandemic. 

“We all have to wear our masks. We’re all six feet apart,” Montes said. “We have this system where we have to check in, basically you put in your school email, and you check these boxes saying, ‘I have not been around anyone who’s been exposed. I have not been feeling sick.’ You check in, and then you check out after every practice.”  

Even with the risk of spreading or contracting COVID-19, some members feel that the safety precautions are comforting enough to feel secure attending the practices and games. 

 “I would say I feel safe going to these events. The COVID numbers are low thanks to the vaccines, and we have masks and social distance,” senior cheer member Isabelle Zirbel said. 

Although the safety measures are understandable, some feel they can hinder the routines of dancers and cheerleaders.

“Because of the COVID regulations, we had to completely remove our stunting from our performances and just do flips and jumps along with the dance,” junior cheer team member Lynzy Janelle Domingo said. “I’m worried that since we haven’t been stunting, it’ll be really rusty when we do go back to our regular performance routines.” 

Some senior members are disheartened by the threat of another coronavirus surge.

“The only thing I was worried about was that seniors weren’t going to get to experience anything like other years’ seniors would, but I’m thankful we have a little bit,” Zirbel said. 

With the school year coming to an end soon, the SCHS Spirit Squad stands together, whether in person or virtually. Focusing on their routines while also building strong relationships, members of the team look forward to the future. 

“Performing at football games and school events is very exhilarating. We get to perform what we’ve been working so hard in our practices in front of live audiences,” Domingo said. “But it’s also a little bit nerve racking since you don’t know what obstacles or mistakes that’ll happen during the performances, so you just go full out and hope that you delivered it well.”