Piedmont Cheerleading Is Just Getting Started

Madelyn Hill, Staff Writer

The cheerleaders shake their pom-poms and shout the letters “P! H! S!” Energy in the stands is high as the crowd claps and shouts along. But this crowd isn’t at Witter Field for a Friday Night Lights football game. This is a women’s volleyball game in Binks Gym.  

Cheerleading at Piedmont looks different this year than it has in the past. Piedmont’s cheerleading team is excited to be supporting different athletic events and taking advantage of new opportunities in the sport. 

“We’re trying to have a new vision of cheerleading in general where historically at high schools it was really focused on football,” cheerleading coach Kylie Bennett said.

The team hopes that their decision to support a variety of athletics contributes to creating a positive atmosphere at Piedmont’s campus. So far this year, the cheerleaders have gone to water polo, volleyball, and football games. 

“I like it personally,” sophomore cheerleader Haylee Cheang said, “It’s not just the football team every Friday.” 

Athletes who have been supported by the cheerleaders emphasized their gratitude for their energetic support.

“They had a really positive effect on the energy and excitement for our game, which made us play even better,” said junior water polo player Anne Reardon. 

Members of the women’s volleyball team also shared similar sentiment regarding the cheerleaders’ contribution  during their volleyball game against Berkeley.

“That was the game that we played the best at, and I don’t think we would have played that [well] if the cheerleaders weren’t there,” junior volleyball player Madeleine Mullin said. 

In addition to attending new games, the cheerleaders are trying out new experiences within their sport. This past summer, five members of the team attended a cheer camp in Santa Cruz together, where they trained with teams three to five times their size. 

“We held our own, and we improved a lot. I’m so proud of my girls,” said junior cheerleader and team captain Breah Bell. 

Coach Bennett said that cheerleading is sanctioned by the California Interscholastic Federation as a sport, meaning that cheer athletes can have chances to attend competitions and attempt to qualify for the North Coast Sectional and State Championships. 

“I’m just really proud about the growth that we’ve seen,” Bennett said. “We’re just getting started, but as things continue to grow, there’s a lot of other opportunities for different types of athleticism in cheerleading.”

The cheerleading team will be holding tryouts during the winter season for any students interested in joining. 

Photo courtesy of Todd Marshburn