BY NATALY VASQUEZ
Rose Moreno Gerardo, varsity cheer coach, has been coaching at Calexico High School for almost 20 years and is thrilled to start the football season with such a hard-working cheer team. A big change that is happening this year is that cheerleading is now considered a sport by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that made cheer a competitive sport in California.
“This is big for the Imperial Valley and for the actual sport of cheer. I am looking forward to finding out what is going to happen and what the law entails,” said Coach Gerardo.
The Calexico Cheer team attended their annual summer cheer camp on July 20, 2017, hosted by the National Cheerleader Association (NCA). This year cheer camp took place in the Tessada Gym at the De Anza 9th Grade Academy. Approximately 82 girls and boys attended the cheer camp. Through NCA, the cheerleaders received personalized training and instructions necessary to become better athletes on and off the field.
This summer, cheer camp was a success because the team took home several awards; one of them was the Herkie Award which is given to the team with true team spirit. Several girls in the team also received the AllAmerican Award which is given to outstanding individuals who exemplify the best cheerleading skills during the All-American tryouts. They were also awarded the Special Event Invitation, which is a special invitation to perform in Dallas, Texas in spring of 2018. Adelaida Sandoval, cheer captain and a senior at Calexico High School said, “One of the goals for our team is to be positive, work hard, and get it together. I am excited for High School Madness and our competition in Texas.”
Every year, the Calexico High School cheer team is expanding and engaging young girls and boys to join an enthusiastic team. Diana Zazueta, a freshman at Calexico High School said, “I am excited to go to the football games and cheer for the first time. I have always wanted to become a cheerleader for Calexico and I hope I improve in my stunts and jumps.” Being a cheerleader at Calexico High School is special because the cheers go back to 1960s. That is why during the football games, there is engagement from the crowd. It is what makes Calexico a united community. “I am looking forward to Friday night lights, especially for the homecoming game because alumni get to come and cheer with us-it’s like a reunion,” said Gabriela Fernandez, captain and senior at Calexico High School.
“Cheering at school is the most important part of being a cheerleader. They cheer at pep rallies, they go to community events, and competition. I know a lot girls in the team love going to cheer competition; their adrenaline goes 100 miles per hour,” said Coach Gerardo. A cheerleader represents someone who feels the words that are expressed and shouted out for the team to win the game. A true cheerleader gets those words into their bloodstream and gets their spirit out.