The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

Cheerleaders create support for football players

October 1, 2017

As the Ponies football team took on the field for the first time this 2017 season, Stillwater fans and students were excited to see them joined by a 32 person cheerleading squad composed of female students ranging from freshmen to seniors.  The cheerleading squad has greatly impacted the energy level throughout the student section and community audience, this has caused high intensity and excitement for players on the field.

Fans and players are excited to see cheerleading return to Stillwater. Coach Julie Ligday and coordinator Angie Rowe have been pushing for a squad for years. Finally through St. Croix Valley Athletic Association they were able to begin the high school cheer squad. Players have reacted very positively to the addition of the squad, they can feel the energy on the field and it is creating a surreal experience for Friday nights.

When it’s game time we focus on the game, not really any outside distractions. They [cheerleaders] definitely help on the field; you can feel the energy.”

— Mark Rotteger

“When it’s game time we focus on the game, not really any outside distractions. They [cheerleaders] definitely help on the field; you can feel the energy,” senior football captain Mark Roettger said.

Cheerleaders and dancers are proven to increase audience volume during home games causing opponent miscommunication and an undeniable energy for the home team on the field. Cheerleaders jobs are to get the fans excited and involved in the game. If they accomplish their job the fans inspire the athletes to push themselves to victory. Cheerleaders also bring the fun to sporting events, during an event such as football, there are breaks such as halftime and timeouts where the excitement is missing, cheerleaders are able to create entertainment during the times where it would normally be lacking.

“The team likes the idea of cheerleaders. They get the crowd more pumped up,” senior captain Andrew Weisbrod added.

Stillwater cheerleaders like many other squads base their routines around interactive and exciting cheers which help keep fans involved and excited for the game. The girls enjoy being on the field and you can sense that when they are performing. The energy they expel is reciprocated by fans and gives the players a feeling of support, interest and exhilaration.

“[Cheerleaders] bring the crowd into the game more and unify the team,” Roettger says.

Cheerleaders provide organization and audience engagement that can not be created from within a team alone. They provide encouragement and create reassurance from fans when it is needed most. This overwhelming amount of support unifies and excites players at all levels of play and results in them further pushing themselves and a value of team effort.

“I’ve played against teams with cheerleaders, but never on a team with them. Most teams have them,” Weisbrod said.

“The addition makes us feel like a ‘normalish’ school,” he added.

As Weisbrod stated, many schools in our conference have cheerleaders, it is exciting to finally feel the intensity they bring to the field. The addition of them has created unity throughout the school between the players, fans and cheerleaders. We all have one goal on Friday nights; a good game and a Pony victory.

“For the audience and the crowd it’s just something to add to Friday nights,” Weisbrod concluded.

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