Cheering through the Pandemic

By: Jordyn Cooper 

     The 2019-2020 Xplosion all-stars cheer team had a successful season last year, until COVID-19 started back in March. This year, things have changed, much like every other sport currently in season. Dealing with precautions and cancellations can be tough, but you have to make the best of it. As many sports have learned, keeping up with precautions is necessary to keep the season going for as long as possible. The Squire interviewed assistant coach Suzanne McNeal of the senior level 3 team, Code Black, to learn more about what this unique cheering season has been like for the team.  

     During The Squire’s interview with Suzanne McNeal, we asked about her experience coaching this season during the pandemic. Suzanne said that it has been a lot harder trying to make sure everyone is safe. She also mentioned the precautions taken to keep the gym clean, which include sanitizing all surfaces, making every cheerleader take a COVID-19 questionnaire, washing and sanitizing hands, and taking temperatures. When asked about how the pandemic has affected the team and the competitions, she explained that it is much harder, “teams have such a close bond; it is hard for them to stay six feet away at all times…as of right now every competition has been virtual.” 

      The Squire also asked what a normal cheer season was like and how that compares to the differences the team is experiencing now. “We were able to travel to competitions and be able to do fun activities with the cheerleaders and parents, but everything is now virtual.” She also mentioned some of the things she did to help her team prepare for the 2021 season. “We just tried keeping everyone in contact when we couldn’t be in the gym via zoom calls, texts, and calls.” 

     By this point in the season, the team would have traveled to over three places so far. Many competitions have changed their rules last minute for certain places to do virtual. It is hard to practice with so many girls going in and out of quarantine. Having a routine requires every girl to be there and if one is missing, the whole routine is off. Practicing with masks and checking temperatures is also necessary to keep the gym from being shut down. 

     Everyone wants to go back to normal, but staying safe is more important. If all of the precautions are followed, there may be a normal season in the near future.  

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