By Kathy Monnin
This year, now that Covid restrictions are lifted, I am going to a few more home sporting events. I don’t really follow sports and would not be considered a sports fan, but since I have two grandsons paying football, basketball, as well as baseball, I’m receptive to learning. So, be warned, if you sit next to me, I may use you as a source of knowledge, as my daughter-in-law can certainly attest. I am constantly asking “who is number so and so and who are their parents and grandparents” since I cannot seem to retain this information from game to game.
My grandchildren are the riches derived from my late husband since I personally had no children. I may not be a sports fan, but I am a fan of people, so I like to know all the athletes participating.
Occasionally my focus shifts to the cheerleader’s chants, energetic movements, and their abundant enthusiasm, which caused my pondering on how cheerleading began. Although they may not dunk the basketball or carry the ball across the goal line, they seem to affect the momentum of the game.
According to my research cheerleading, although in a different form than what we see today, began in Great Britain in the 1860s. By the 1880s the United States had cheerleaders. First it was a few college men that led cheers to rally spirit, but it all changed in 1898 when Johnny Campbell, a fan of the Minnesota Gophers, led a cheer. Later Lawrence Herkimer founded the National Cheerleaders Association, invented the herkie jump and made many other contributions to the cheerleading, like cheer clinics and the spirit stick. Fred Gastoff invented the vinyl pom pom. These men and others practiced stunts like handstands, flips and pikes requiring a great deal of core strength and strong legs.
Women entered cheerleading in the 1920s and by the 1940s cheerleading was predominately female. In the 1950s the Baltimore Colts were the first recorded cheer squad in NFL history, but soon organized cheerleading competitions such as the “Top Ten College Cheerleading Squads.” By the Super Bowl X, in 1976, the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders catapulted popularity for the craft. Cheerleading had become a visual component of sports with attractive young agile and flexible women performing sophisticated dance moves in attention grabbing outfits.
In 1978, CBS aired the first Collegiate Cheerleading Championships. Then ESPN officially declared cheerleading as a sport in 1999 and began showing the national cheerleading competitions that were taking place around the country. In only a few short years nearly 20 different high school organizations declare cheerleading as a sport and by 2003 it had officially become a sport. The criterion used to declare cheerleading as a sport included the large degree of athletic ability required, tumbling skills, strength, competitiveness, and athleticism.
Of course, all cheerleaders are not the same. There are basically four sectors or types that consist of all stars, scholastic, recreational, and pro cheerleaders. (According to https:/spiritaccessories.com) 1) All Stars Cheerleaders are normally connected with a gym that teaches gymnastics, tumbling and cheerleading. These cheerleaders do not cheer for sporting events, they exist to compete, which involves extensive practice, lessons, travel, and is an expensive sport. 2) Scholastic Cheerleaders are the cheerleaders associated with schools and sports. 3) Recreation Cheerleaders usually requires no official tryouts and can be associated with a community church or YWCA. They can choose to compete and can gain experience allowing them to move up into the scholastic or all-star programs. 4) Pro Cheerleaders are considered entertainers and dancers more than cheerleaders. They have travel opportunities and appearances but receive little pay for their performances, requiring most to have a full-time job to offset their expenses. However, the experience often allows them to further their entertainment career.
“Cheerleading is more than a sport, it’s an attitude!”
“A good cheerleader is not measured by the height of her jumps but by the span of her spirit.”
“She’s a crowd pleasing, cheer yelling, stunt building, short-skirt wearing, toe touching, hand clapping, big smiling, kick booty Cheerleader!” ~Unknown
Saturday, Jan. 15, Smothered Pork Chops at the Ansonia American Legion from 5 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 15, Karaoke in the Versailles Vets Club bunker starting around 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 15, DeMange Brothers at the Versailles Eagles from 8 to midnight.
Tuesday, Jan. 18, Dog Obedience School from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. or 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. at Greenville Area Dog Club, 940 Front Street, Greenville. $90 for an 8-week course.
Wednesday, Jan. 19, Reubens at the Ansonia American Legion from 5 to 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 20, Euchre Game in the Versailles Vet’s Club bunker beginning at 7 p.m. $5 entry. Open to the public.
Saturday, February 12, Wing Fry at Goat Farmers in Yorkshire from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Eat in or Carry-out.
Happy birthday wishes to Sharon Groff, Tena Black, Anna Grillot Wade, Dana Risner Weatherspoon, Jill Simons, Jill Marie Mann, Margie Treon, Jennifer Overholser, Amanda Patterson, Bill Beasley, Tom Buxton, Eric Schultz, James McClure, Donna Akins, Samuel Busse, Kitty Davis, Katey Wendel, Brittany Kemper, Jackie McEldowney, Tom Billenstein, Mike Bayman, Connie Millhouse, Joy Roseberry, Jerry Goubeaux, Dan Schafer, Kirk Harman, Terry Larson, Brenda Goubeaux, Paige Partin, Miranda Flora, Susan Oliver McEldowney, Ryan Yakos, Jean Watercutter, Katie Mescher Francis, Jim Marchal, Eunice Ernst, Mindy Barlage, Tina Brown, Gloria Burns, Chad Monnin, Denise Heitkamp, Amanda Swallow, Joe Jessup, Shelley Cohee, Bob Epperly, Diann Kopilec, Carolyn Wilcox, Ron Brewer, Jessica Groff, Russell Marchal, Judy Monnin, Mark Kunk, Kelli Henry, Diane Delaplane, Candi Etter, Rhonda Elifritz-Rix, Tyler Ward, Doris Gessler, Vickie Mestemaker, Chad Potter, Josh Myers, Carolyn Shrader, Vera Pleiman, and Tami Thomas as their birthdays approach, as well as, anniversary wishes to Sonja and Barney Francis (31), Cindy and Dave Shadoan (39), and Nancy and Dan Streib (59), and all couples celebrating anniversaries.
Please extend your sympathy to the family and friends of Christopher Hiatt (48), Michael Poeppelman (64), Erie Elson (92), and all those who have passed as well as those we hold within our hearts as the anniversary of their passing nears. Please give your prayers of comfort and healing for the sick, those who struggle, the suffering, the caregivers and those who mourn the loss of their loved ones.
As an act of kindness, be a cheerleader for someone. Lift their S-P-I-R-I-T up, way, way up! Everyone needs encouragement from time to time. Sometimes all you need do is let them know that you have been thinking of them and maybe compliment their smile or their dedication as a parent or community volunteer. Be motivational, speak in positive terms to someone that you perceive to be in need. Just asking an open-ended question such as “How have you been doing” can be uplifting to the person who lives alone…that is if you are genuine by waiting for them to reply.
Kathy Monnin is a volunteer citizen columnist. She can be reached at [email protected] or at 423-0914. Feel free to contact her with Versailles news and tidbits. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.