Cheerleaders end up at the bottom of the pyramid

by Trevor Skanes
Every high school team has its own respective place to practice, whether it is on or off campus, and the necessary equipment to ensure the athletes’ safety. However, this is not true for the cheerleading squad.
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The cheerleading team is not included in the gym rotation, which means that the team is not guaranteed gym time. If the cheerleading team is practicing in the gym but the basketball team needs to use it, the cheerleading team gets kicked out.
Then practice takes longer to finish, which can make scheduling time for work, extra activities and jobs difficult.
“Not having a set place to practice gets frustrating because, like every other team, we want to begin and end practice on time,” said junior Kayla Kocha, a varsity cheerleader.
The team’s season starts in August and ends in February, a longer season than most squads. This shows how dedicated the cheerleaders are and that they work just as hard as other sports teams to keep consistency. They should not be interrupted in the middle of their practices for other teams.
“I find it to be very frustrating because we need to practice just as much as the other sports. It feels like we are not being respected as much as the other sports when we work just as hard,” said junior Abigail Edwards, a varsity cheerleader.
Cheerleading is a dangerous sport because of the stunts performed. According to the journal Pediatrics, 65 percent of catastrophic injuries in youth sports occur in cheerleading, making appropriate and safe practice space  vital.
“There are always people getting hurt while stunting. Some injuries are minor while others are severe,” said Kocha. Two cheerleaders from the JV team this year have suffered concussions.
When the cheerleading team gets kicked out of the gym and is forced to practice in the hallway or the MPR, it puts athletes in a situation where injuries are more likely to occur.
“I feel that having our practices interrupted hurts the team because no one takes us as seriously. Without a good practice spot, someone can get hurt,” said junior Mikaela Batts, varsity cheerleader, citing the need for safety mats and   pads.
“Once the winter season begins we scramble for gym time. We certainly could be placed in the gym rotation for practice,” said Mary Kate Schiller, coach of the varsity cheerleading team.
The cheerleading team shouldn’t be an exception to the rule that every team has a place to practice.