From the lack of in-person instruction to the impossibility of having actual competitions, it may seem that high school sports are now close to obsolete; however, coaches and athletes at IHS are persevering through these difficult times, and the Irvington cheer team is no different.
The district plans to condense two seasons, fall and spring, into one; this, they believe, is the most effective way to let all teams play without endangering any players. While the number of contests/competitions for each team remains the same, officials are still unsure of how the length of the season will be impacted. Most suspect that individual seasons may need to be shortened, due to the fact that there will be twice as many sports playing.
The biggest change this year is how practices will be held. Shannon Chiang(11) explains that cheer team practice is held through google meets. This method allows the coaches and students to have some level of interaction and personal instruction. However, there are a few drawbacks to this method. Chiang further elaborates that, among other issues, the lack of in-person practice denies team-members the ability to get to know one another and build chemistry within the team. What’s more, because cheerleading is a team-intensive sport, it requires there to be some in person practices so that members can get used to doing the flips, tosses, pyramids in a group setting, as is characteristic to the sport. Another issue that arose was the question of how tryouts would be conducted, since there was no option for meeting in person. This was quickly solved by having team members submit a video of them doing the routine in lieu of an in-person tryout.
Despite the unexpected hurdles that the team has had to face, team members are still optimistic about the upcoming season. By adapting their previous plans to align with the current safety standards, they will be able to practice to the best of their abilities at home, meet new members via virtual bonding, and hopefully come back to IHS ready to kick off another great season.