Winter cheerleaders gain man power


by Lauren Hanfield, Staff Writer

The initial start of the cheerleaders’ winter season was on Thursday, Jan. 8, when they cheered for the varsity boys’ basketball game against Lodi.

Coach Alyssa Perry prepares her team for the season by prepping for future competitions and games. Winter practice for cheerleading remains the same as those in the fall practice, starting at 3:30 p.m. and ending by or before 5:30 p.m.

“We’re looking into which competitions we want to attend, depending if we want to go in as a JV team or a varsity team,” Coach Perry said.

Coach Perry is looking forward to the end of February for the upcoming cheerleader competitions. Until then, though, Perry continues to reflect back on their first game on Jan. 8.

“It went really well. I felt like we were really prepared. We only had three practices before and all the new people did a really good job,” Perry said.

My favorite part was when I fell down on the bleachers, running up them after one of the cheers.”

— Eric Tymoshenko, freshman

As Perry said, the team welcomes new cheerleaders, some from JV and some who have never cheered at Glen Rock before.

As with prior seasons, the team welcomes new opportunities: Eric Tymoshenko, a freshman, is the first male cheerleader in Glen Rock’s history.

“Eric’s definitely the first boy I’ve ever coached, and I think the first boy Glen Rock’s ever had, to my knowledge,” Perry said.

Tymoshenko enjoys cheering and is astounded by the fact that he is the first male cheerleader that has been on the cheerleading team. He says that Coach Perry seems like a friend, yet she’s still a great coach.

“Cheering is really fun but it’s a lot of work, especially because I am a back spot,” Tymoshenko said.

With his strength, the position of a back spot seemed like the perfect fit for him.

“Supporting my teammates by being a back spot gives me almost like a warm fuzzy feeling inside,” Tymoshenko said. “My favorite part was when I fell down on the bleachers, running up them after one of the cheers.”

Like Tymoshenko, Vanessa Hettesheimer, a junior, is new to the team and new to the cheering atmosphere. According to Hettesheimer, she too has had a great experience with the team and Coach Perry.

“So far, with the team, everyone has been warm and friendly,” Hettesheimer said.

The atmosphere around cheer is similar to any other sports’ and the connections one can build with people are very important, especially for Hettesheimer. She finds the connection that she has with Coach Perry to be very meaningful.

“I love Coach Perry. She’s fun to be around but she also takes control and can be strict, which is actually good,” Hettersheimer said. “If she wasn’t, we wouldn’t be able to achieve everything we have so far.”

Hettesheimer says that she is ecstatic for this season and really enjoys cheering. Despite cheering for the first time, she wasn’t nervous before hitting the court.

“I felt fine, I didn’t feel nervous until it was over, if that makes any sense,” Hettesheimer said. “I liked that we didn’t have to stand the whole time.”

The cheerleaders started this season off with a bang. The next basketball game that the cheerleaders will be cheering at will be on Tuesday, Jan. 20.