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“Senior Sendoff” 2024
CSD Productions, CSD Productions • May 30, 2024

Dedication drives CSD Cheer

It’s the only CSD sport that covers multiple seasons and cheer athletes train together nearly every month of the year.
Ben Gallagher
CSD’s cheer team is one of the most dedicated collections of athletes who wear the Spartan uniform. Their results don’t show up as wins or losses, rather they work to keep improving as the young team builds on their success.

High school cheerleading is often dismissed as a sport that takes little skill and dedication. After all, cheerleaders are on the sidelines not out on the field, right? And fans don’t typically come to support the cheerleaders, they come to watch the teams.

But the opposite is true at the Community School of Davidson (CSD). CSD’S cheer team works hard and shatters the stereotype. Learn their schedule or spend any amount of time with them and you’ll know why.

“It’s one of the only sports that are all year long,” said Sinclair Berry (‘25), “And it’s frustrating that people don’t know how hard it is.”

Cheer at CSD is a year-round commitment. The tryouts for the team are held in the spring and conditioning then starts immediately, two or three days a week during the beginning of summer. 

Once midsummer hits, the team begins to prepare for their big Universal Cheer Association (UCA) camp where they spend six hours a day learning new skills and preparing for game day. 

“Before June, we usually are in the weight room and then we begin working on stunts and routines,” said Wesley Little (‘25). “We take a little break to help run a camp for little kids – exhausting – then right back to work.”

When school starts in mid-August, their schedule becomes busier. 

Straight after school, every day except game day, the girls get right to work. They change into their practice uniforms and report to the auxiliary gym where they break out into their stunt groups. 

After stretching and warming up, their focus turns to the coach, Cassidy Brady, and her game plan: learning new cheers, practicing stunts and running through their routines to ensure they’re crisp come Friday night. 

A UNC Charlotte cheerleader also teaches the team.

“Craig usually comes in once a month and teaches us more advanced skills,” said Little.

While traditional sports have shorter seasons (i.e., fall, winter, spring), cheer spans both fall and winter – football and basketball – and each holds its own challenges. 

Football has more practices since there is only one weekly game, typically on Friday nights. 

“The hardest part of football season is a new halftime routine each week and we only have a couple practices to learn it,” said Berry. “And there’s a lot more movement in football’s routines.”

Little nodded in agreement and said, “Football there’s one big Friday game and everybody asks everybody if they’re going to the game…it’s stressful.”

The team cheers outside in the elements, and often the cold, as the football season stretches into late fall.

When basketball season starts, practices are less frequent because the Spartans play more games throughout the week. While the sport may seem to work the same as fall turns to winter, it is quite different.

“The cheers are so different and I can see the game as we cheer. In football, we call all these offense and defense cheers and we can’t even see who has the ball since we’re facing the stands,” said Berry. “And for basketball, there’s two games since we cheer for the girls and the boys. Plus we’re inside.”

Yes, the cheer team assumes double duty; they cheer for both the girls and the boys on the court. 

Sporting events aren’t the only time when the team cheers. 

CSD pep rallies always feature a cheer team performance. And with every student, teacher and staff member in attendance, pep rallies assemble perhaps the biggest crowds the girls cheer in front of all year. 

And cheer typically goes first. They set the tone and the mood for what follows. Unlike cheering for football and basketball, where there is so much happening at once, all eyes are on the cheer team during pep rallies.

“They’re the most nerve-wracking thing ever,” said Berry.

For those who might not otherwise attend sporting events, pep rallies offer a new crowd for the cheerleaders. And many people are impressed by the team.

“After the pep rallies, people come up to us and say ‘Oh, I didn’t know y’all had improved so much,’ since they hadn’t gone to the games,” said Little. “It’s fun for new people to see our stuff.”

When the winter season ends, cheer athletes do get a break, albeit a short one. Tryouts start again in the spring, then it’s conditioning, summer camps and practices, too.

CSD’s cheer team is one of the most dedicated collections of athletes who wear the Spartan uniform. Their results don’t show up as wins or losses, rather they work to keep improving as the young team builds on their success

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About the Contributor
Ben Gallagher
Ben Gallagher, Editor-in-Chief

Ben Gallagher, a junior, has been at CSD since eighth grade. In his third year of journalism, he hopes to improve his interviewing skills, cover new topics and see stories through different angles. 

While at school, Ben loves to play volleyball in the gym and learn about our nation’s past in AP US History. He is also looking forward to starting English and Psychology now in eleventh grade. He plays football as a wide receiver and is a middle infielder and outfielder in baseball for the Spartans. One of his favorite memories was freshman year when Matthew Ferguson hit a walkoff three run homer against Trinity High School to send CSD to the state regional finals.

“Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.” - Lewis Caroll 


Comments (2)

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  • C

    ConnerMay 13, 2024 at 1:22 pm

    I really liked how you brought attention to a sport that isn’t talked about as much anymore at our school. You shined a bright light for the future of CSD cheer.

  • Y

    YodiceFeb 13, 2024 at 8:34 am

    The hard work is paying off. I have seen a lot of improvement in the squad over the years I have been at CSD