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Albert Lea High School Newspaper


Albert Lea High School Newspaper


Albert Lea High School Newspaper


Cheer Squad


The Albert Lea Cheerleading Squad came back for the 2023-2024 school year, and it is a positive experience for both the cheerleaders and the students who support their return. The new superintendent, Mr. Wagner, helped bring back cheerleading after its absence for twelve years as it was an important part of bringing the community and kids together. 

After asking Superintendent Ron Wagner about how exactly cheer got brought back he mentioned going to the football games where he felt that something was missing. 

“I attended my first football game and was highly impressed with our teams, our coaches, our staff, our facilities and even the fans were even enjoying themselves,” said Wagner. “However, I noticed that there was something missing – and that is what the CheerTeam brings to each game. There were not any AL Cheerleaders leading our students and community. I looked into the historical background and started asking questions. I talked to staff and to students that served on my Student Leadership Cabinet. There really wasn’t a definitive reason why there was no cheer at our activities. So, we began the discussion around what if there was? There was support from all ages on bringing back Cheer. Activities Director at the time Paul Durbhan was in full support to begin scoping this out.”  

Cheerleaders rally the students to support our school’s athletic programs. As of this printing, the squad have cheered at football games and pepfests.

“I think it plays an extremely important part for guiding and making sure that our kids are doing appropriate cheers and that we are cheering for our team,” Activities Director Dave Langerud said. He also mentioned that having cheer in our school can get people excited about games… and fans being able to cheer the right way for teams.

“I thought the kids and the school did a really, really good job of receiving them and being supportive, knowing that it’s brand new and they just started learning,” Langerud said. “I think it’s been a great reception and a testament to the kids here at the school that they support new activities that happen in support of their classmates.” 

Something that people might not know about cheer, according to sophomore cheerleader Stephanie Lazaro is that it’s fun to try something new. Lazaro mentioned that it involves “building confidence to cheer in front of the whole school” and she goes on to say that “you just have to push through because at the end it’s what you love to do.” 

Something that helps Lazaro and the team is the student section. The roar of the crowd settles the anxiety of cheering. “Even if you’re nervous and scared to cheer, it’s fun,” said Lazaro.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I would watch cheer videos online and when I saw a poster hanging up this year [for cheering], I said I was definitely doing that,” said sophomore Mariam Zeferino Mendez. “It brings more spirit and excitement to the school. It’s fun to see others doing the cheers and getting hyped.”

Cheerleading is a fall and winter sport. In the fall, they will be at varsity football games and in the winter they will cheer at boys and girls varsity basketball games. They practice Monday and Wednesday at Hawthorne from 3:15 to 4:45. They have learned approximately seven cheers with more to come.

“Try something new,” said Zeferino Mendez. “You might never have the opportunity to do something like this again.”

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