On Monday and Tuesday, October 30-31, the Pride varsity cheerleading squad will hold tryouts in hopes to add more male members. The team currently has two male members, Matthew Carroll, sophomore, and Adam Gee, senior, as opposed to the five last year.
Kristin Reinhardt, head coach, believes that it is important for the team to have more male members to ensure success. “As a coed team, the more guys we have the better! We score points in competition based on how many coed stunts we can execute. We will be going against schools at states with upwards of 5 – 8 boys on their teams. With only two currently, we will have trouble making the same scores as those teams,” said Reinhardt, via email.
Not only will new male additions be beneficial to the team, it will also be beneficial to prepare team members for college as well. “It’s a great thing for the girls to learn to cheer with the boys because that’s what a lot of the colleges do,” said Karli Quesenberry, senior captain.
The team is looking to add at least three more male members to the team, and anyone male willing to learn how to stunt and tumble is qualified. “Guy’s pick up tumbling way faster than girls. Not to mention, who wouldn’t want to toss girls up in the air? There is always some risk involved with cheer, but the satisfaction of finally hitting a stunt or landing a back-tuck definitely outweighs that risk,” said Reinhardt.
Noah Czajkowski, freshman cheerleader at NC State, was on the Leesville cheerleading team. Czajkowski praises his experiences during his time as a male cheerleader with the Pride and feels it was one of the best high school experiences he had. Czajkowski offers some words for those considering trying out. “If you’re thinking about trying out, I would highly encourage you to do it. You will be joining a successful and supportive team,” said Czajkowski, via text.
Collectively, Reinhardt has high hopes for the cheerleading team. Reinhardt hopes to compete with a clean routine at states on December 2. Although there isn’t much time to prepare, Reinhardt is confident the team can pull together and pull it off. Re-establishing a solid male base will also make it easier going forward and prevent another round of mid-season recruiting next year.
Being a first-year coach at Leesville, Reinhardt has faced some challenges. Coming from middle school cheerleading to varsity coed, Reinhardt has been on a major learning curve. Nonetheless, with help from upperclassmen knowledge and expertise, Reinhardt’s transition has been smooth. Ultimately, Reinhardt looks forward to coaching the Pride for many more years and making her mark on the program.