What’s the Difference?

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By: Katie Forcade

Who knew two back-to-back seasons had such a difference?  To anyone watching from afar, it would be the exact same sport, just in a different season.  Freshman Hope Sikora (Fall cheerleader) says that the obvious difference between fall and winter cheerleading is the fact that the time of year is different, along with the sport being cheered for.
During the fall season, cheerleaders cheer for the football teams at Tuscarora.  Their season goes from the first week of August until the last week of October.  Sophomore Hannah Franklin (Fall cheerleader) says that football is more interesting to cheer for because the experience is more realistic.
“I love both [seasons].  Fall cheer was such a challenge with remembering stunts and working hard on tumbling.  Winter cheer is just as much of a challenge with remembering dances and cheers.  They’re both fun,” says freshman Sabrina Dyson, a fall and winter cheerleader.
Winter cheerleading starts in the middle of November and goes through February.  The cheerleaders are compiled into one varsity team, whereas fall cheerleading was composed of three teams (freshman, JV, and varsity).  This season, the cheerleaders are not standing outside cheering on the football team, but are inside cheering for the varsity basketball players, both the boys’ and the girls’ teams.
As for comparison between the two seasons, there are several differences. “We do more dancing [in winter cheerleading],” says freshman Sam Krnich, who cheers for both fall and winter teams.Winter cheerleaders do not get to compete, whereas fall varsity cheerleaders do.  With that difference, many more try out for fall cheerleading compared to winter cheerleading. “In winter cheerleading, you barely stunt, there [are] a lot less people on the team, and more games occur in the season,” says Franklin.
Freshman Samantha Callejas, a winter cheerleaders,  says winter cheering differs from fall cheering because people don’t take it as seriously they do in the fall. Winter cheerleaders don’t have the chance to compete, but winter season is difficult because the cheerleaders have to be into the game to know what to cheer.
“I didn’t do winter cheerleading because I am committed to competitive cheerleading at my all star gym [instead].  Also, as the year progresses on, school work tends to get harder, so I didn’t want to stress about that [along] with a busy cheer schedule,” says Sikora.
Speaking of a busy schedule, Callejas says it is hard to balance school with winter cheer, but cheerleaders have study hall once a week, which makes it a lot easier for Callejas to keep up her school work. “Study hall is a life saver!” Dyson says about balancing school work. “I stay organized and I take advantage of my time in Flex and study hall during cheer,” says freshman Abby Knuff, a fall and winter cheerleader.
During the week, the winter cheerleaders practice after school for game preparation. Knuff says that practice helps the team fix and learn cheers and dance routines, or even fix mistakes made at previous games. Krnich stated that with all the cheers to memorize, practice helps the team work on all of them.
Even though she couldn’t do winter cheerleading, Sikora states, “I absolutely love cheerleading because it’s a fun way to spend time with friends and my life revolves around it.  Without cheer, I don’t know what I would do.”