GREENVILLE — According to Greenville Varsity Cheerleading Coach Carol Paul, a cheerleader’s role is to keep everyone into each game.
“No matter what our score may be, we have athletes out there playing hard until the end of the game,” she said. “I feel like our girls should cheer hard until the end of the game, because they are there to do a job.”
Paul said she has been coaching on and off for about 12 years, and is one of four coaches over the Greenville City School (GCS) District’s Cheerleading. She was there to greet the “littles” the younger students, at a Greenville High School (GHS) Cheer Fun Day, Saturday. One hundred girls, grades kindergarten-sixth, registered for the day, according to GCS Cheerleading Coordinator Tiffany Labig.
Students worked one-on-one with GHS Cheerleaders in small groups, learning cheers, chants, dances, motions, drills and the fundamentals of cheerleading. They are encouraged to perform what they learned during halftime of the Greenville Junior Varsity Basketball game Friday, January 26. One fifth-grade student who attended the Cheer Fun Day is Callee Moore. She said she wants to be a cheerleader, because it is fun.
“I like to be around a lot of people, and I like to make new friends,” she said.
The idea for the Cheer Fun Day is to build the program, Labig said. The GCS District has about 30 cheerleaders, according to Labig, who was once one herself.
“I enjoy working with the kids and our team of coaches,” she said. “The kids are amazing, and are great community leaders. I enjoy spending time with them, and helping them to sharpen their skills from an athletic standpoint. They are important role models, they help keep the spirit going during the games and they compete. The cheerleaders are very busy and they are great kids.”
One is GHS Cheerleader Alexa Snyder, a junior, who helped teach the “littles” the cheering basics.
“We are giving them a broad idea and introducing them to cheer,” she said. “We are just having fun today. When I was their age, I always liked going to football games. I’d see the girls cheering, and I wanted to do it too. I have cheered since seventh grade. It was hard starting because I didn’t know the basics, but the girls really helped me. I’ve had a lot of fun, and I bet these little kids are having fun too.”
Part of that fun for Coach Paul is to see when the students finally get something.
“When they have finally perfected a performance-a cheer or a jump-the look of joy in their face is what I enjoy the most,” she said.
But it is not just teaching them cheerleading, she said. It is teaching them about everyday life.
“We want them to know, not only academically, but in the community that they are role models,” Paul said. “We want them to do things right, not just on the cheer floor, but in the classroom. And outside of the school, we want them to be somebody that people look up to. I think sometimes it is easy for them to get upset with us, because we expect. But years down the road, I have kids come back and say they are so thankful for what we did; for what we taught them. Through cheerleading, they learn things about life, such as: tardiness, being responsible and making sure they know their part. It takes a lot of dedication.”
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354.