Hannah Wyman, Editor In Chief

Go, fight, win! Practices are officially in full swing for winter sports which means the General McLane cheerleaders are hard at work. This year, the GM varsity cheerleading squad is under the new direction of Eileen McCullough who has formerly coached for Fort Leboeuf and Villa Maria Academy.

Senior varsity cheerleader Sara Nagy explains how Coach McCullough makes cheer enjoyable for everyone.  “She lets us have fun and is more strict on the stunting aspect but it helps us become better at all positions and do bigger stunts. She also lets us choose what chants we enjoy doing instead of the other way around.”

Coach LaRocca continues her role as the junior varsity cheer coach. The team has also seen an increase of members this year. While football cheer contained 10 girls on varsity and 7 girls on junior varsity, basketball cheer is made up of 14 varsity and 9 junior varsity cheerleaders. According to freshman junior varsity cheerleader Olivia Lehman, “Our squad gets along super well, it’s like we’re all sisters. We were actually planning a Christmas sleepover today!”

With a new coach and a squad of faces old and new, the basketball cheer season is off to a promising start. The cheerleading squads attend practices after school 2 to 3 days a week from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in order to train and prepare for cheering at scheduled basketball games during weeknights. Lehman explains that, “[We] utilize that time to go through different moves and jumps and help the new girls improve.”

As for what to expect from these lady Lancers, senior varsity cheerleader Mary Claire Cousins says that “[The squads] are looking forward to trying new stunts and perfecting several dances and routines that we’ve never done before.” “This season you should expect cool stunts; since we have a bigger squad we should be able to throw together a couple of bigger stunts! Also more cheers and hopefully more crowd interaction,” Nagy further reveals.

The cheerleading squad is an essential part of football and basketball games alike. Cheerleaders help get the crowd fired up and encourage the athletes throughout the season. Nevertheless, many students join cheer for the experience and memories that are curated. This is apparent in Lehman saying “Being on cheer is the most fun I’ve had, in my opinion. I’ve made great relationships with people I would’ve never thought to talk to at first.”

Cousins encompasses and captures the spirit of cheer best by saying, “Being a cheerleader all four years of high school is honestly one of the best decisions I’ve made! I love trying new things and cheering for the boys on game day, but even more, I love the bond that I’ve made with my teammates over the years and the sister-like relationship that we all have.”