Behind the scenes of the Friday night lights

Just-Us Welch '20, Copy Editor

Through warm, rainy and cold weather, the Grosse Pointe South Varsity Cheer team hits stunts, cheers proud and tumble across the track all while maintaining their smiles every Friday night. 

However, according to cheerleader Victoria Boykin ‘20 there are many misconceptions of the hard work and dedication that is put into this year round sport.

“A lot of people think cheer is just what we do at the sidelines and what we do at the games but it is much more than that,” Boykin said. “Sideline season is where we prep for competition season; that’s where we are really tested and can show people what we do.”

Although cheer is visually appealing to watch, there is a lot of risk in the sport according to Caroline Kalmar ‘20. The team must communicate together to make sure they remain safe while having fun.  

“I don’t think about any of us think of what we’re doing and how we can get seriously injured; you just have to focus on one stunt at a time and one tumbling thing at a time,” Kalmar said. 

Cheer coach Ashley Gerbi values the lessons that cheerleading taught her during her high school career and hopes to teach her varsity team the same team building skills.

“They have to depend on each other, they have to work together and they have to push each other,” Gerbi said. 

Throughout the past 6 years Gerbi has coached, she has seen the team become physically and mentally stronger athletes and hopes that other students can appreciate the athleticism in the sport. 

“The most rewarding part of coaching is watching the girls get so excited when they nail it and know they did the absolute best they can and it all (their hard work) pays off,” Gerbi said. 

The pep rally is one way that the team can showcase their skills to the whole school. This is a unique experience since many sports do not get this opportunity, which creates a lot of pressure on the team to make sure all of their skills and stunts are perfect, according to Cassidy Kline ‘21.

“The pep rally is a chance to show the entire school what we can so we had to try so hard,” Kline said. 

The lessons that cheer has taught the girls has led them to become closer and be there for each other in times of need, on and off the mat.

“You spend every day together so you get to know each other and build trust in each other,” Kline said.