Cheerleaders Pushed off the Sidelines

By Raegan Lewis

December 4, 2020

Due to the widespread Covid-19 pandemic, here at Norwood we’re finding new ways to adapt and stay safe. 

With the winter sports season starting and an increased demand for fans wanting to come cheer on their school, you have to find ways for the fans to get what they want; something has to come out of the equation. The Ohio High School Athletic Association decided the cheerleaders would no longer be allowed to go to away games.

This decision was made to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, but you have to think: is this very logical?

They’re trying to make sure more fans are able to come to the games, but think about who this is hurting —  the cheerleaders already lost part of their cheer experience during football season, and now they’re losing over half of their basketball season. 

Students everywhere are having things taken away from them to help prevent the spread of Covid, such as Homecoming, Prom, sports, work, ect. This happening to our cheerleaders is just adding on to the list. 

The seniors have been in everyone’s hearts and minds, thinking about how it’s their last year and they’re getting robbed of things that everyone before them got to have. They are missing out on senior memories.

Senior Emily Saul says, “It’s disappointing to see the people in charge of our high school athletic careers be so inconsiderate with us cheerleaders. If all other athletic teams can go to all of their games, why can’t we? it’s just really frustrating, especially as a senior. This is my last season cheering ever, and I don’t even get half of it.”

Freshman McKinzie Rains agrees. “I really feel bad for our seniors because this virus has ruined their last year of high school and it’s just getting worse for them. I personally don’t understand how it makes sense for us to not go, but there’s nothing we can do to fix it. I just hope the seniors are making their last year great with what they’re given,” she says.

I personally believe this is happening so athletic departments are able to make more money off leaving extra room for more people to come in due to the fact that there is a maximum capacity. Cheerleaders get into the games for free, so keeping them out of the gym leaves more room for paying fans.

Cheerleaders are also unable to cheer on the sidelines. They have been moved to the top of the stands on the visitor side, standing between the bleacher. Not only does this take even more from the experience, but it’s a safety hazard. There is not much room to stand, and there are several cheers where they have to step, as well as stand on one leg. And this situation is not statewide, since Batavia High School cheerleaders were seen cheering on the sidelines in their gyms, meaning this decision was made by our own athletic department. 

I am sure there are ways for everyone to stay safe as long as you practice the right social distancing, but it’s not going to hurt to have the cheerleaders there to cheer on their team. The cheerleaders’ goal is to hype the crowd up and encourage the boys and lift their spirits. Cheerleaders are a necessity at away games because a lot of students or parents don’t like to drive out of town to attend the games, so the cheerleaders should always be there to keep the energy pumping.