HEHS Cheerleading shows improvement despite this year’s challenges


Fenella Cassandra Ibias, Staff Writer

When it comes to leisurely activity, some people find parachuting to be the best pastime. Some would rather dance instead. Others even prefer exercise by lifting weights or doing gymnastics. But what if you combined all four?

Basing, flying, tumbling, and dancing are all skills our HEHS cheerleading team has. They’ve never had any trouble performing their awesome routines live in front of an audience before this season. With the spread of COVID-19, however, there came a few challenges.

This season’s scoring rubric was completely altered and the platform of the competitions was different, according to Coach Cudney. The team was required to send pre-recorded videos of their routines instead of performing live.

“This was a game changer for our kids who are used to having the natural adrenaline that comes from performing live in front of a crowd with only one opportunity to hit a clean routine,” she said.

The students worked extra hard to compete with these new challenges. “We put many, many hours into extra conditioning on top of our normal practices so that we could have an amazing season,” said Gracie Velazquez, junior.

It seems that everything has paid off, though. “Despite all of these changes and challenges, we managed to grow in our raw score at MSL this year by ten whole points!” Coach Cudney said.

Sophomore Amelia Resendez expressed her wonder with the team’s efforts. “We made a lot of accomplishments including high scores and placements in competitions. It is for these reasons I feel the effort put in by [me and my teammates] is astonishing.”

Kailey Folkes, junior, said that it was all thanks to her teammates and coaches. “I navigated through COVID-19 this year truly because of my teammates and coaching staff. We all were able to lean on each other when in need and our coaches were always encouraging.”

Freshman Anna Lee agreed. “Everyone got super close and the environment was amazing and everyone is family.”

When asked what made this season memorable, senior Janine Lumba said, “Just being able to put on that uniform one last time.”