The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

Competitive cheer team shines beyond the sidelines

Woodside Athletic Boosters
Cheer athletes perform routines at pep rallies as well as competitions.

Whether they’re performing at a pep rally or a football game, it’s hard to miss the cheer team in action. Though it took time to recover from their COVID-mandated hiatus, the cheer team is finally ready to jump, dance, and tumble their way back into the competitive world.

Known for their adrenaline-pumping halftime performances and peppy chants from the football, and basketball sidelines, it’s been two years since cheer has had a competitive season of their own. Though this subsection of the sport has been a core part of the team for years, COVID-related restrictions forced a hold on cheer competitions. 

“The last time we had a competition team was my freshman year,” Cheer Captain Lauren Hockaday said. “We couldn’t go for the last two years because of COVID… This year, we get to do it again. And we’ll be doing it again next year.”

The team has come back strong, placing fourth out of nine in their first competition. Now, in the midst of their season, the select group of competitive cheerleaders are training hard to prepare for their next event.

“We’re doing one more virtual competition, and then nationals [this] February,” Hockaday said. 

Not all competitions are conducted in-person, as some are assessed by judges virtually. Regardless of the platform, however, competitions demand a significant effort. The competitive team is much more serious than mainstream cheer, as athletes perform longer and more difficult routines. 

“For comp, we do a big cheer,” Hockaday said. “It’s less like our sideline cheer, [which is]  a quick little thing we do three times. [Comp] is a long minute-thirty-second cheer.”

While preparation requires extra practices, difficult skills, and more rigorous training, the thrill of representing Woodside from the competition stage is well-worth the effort. 

“We do dancing, and stunts, and jumps,” Hockaday said. “All the fun parts in cheer get touched on more in comp. It’s more hardcore, but it’s fun.”

Woodside’s competitive dance team has a similar competitive structure. Performing complex skills and stunning choreography, the dance team can be found competing all over the Bay Area. This Saturday, the dance team will be taking on Lincoln High School at the Stars Dance Competition in San Jose. Good luck Wildcats!

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