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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Flips, tricks and team spirit

Cheerleaders gain more stunting extensions after nine years
Delaney L
Senior Ayda Matya (left of center) looks forward to continuing on with cheer after high school. With the new tier, many new opportunities are available to the team. “I feel like we need to have a lot more trust in the team,” Matya said. “Because we’re not just having someone at shoulder length anymore. It’s a lot more risky if someone falls, so we need to trust each other and strengthen bonds.”

After nine years of tumbling, the cheer team is finally able to move onto Tier 2 for stunting, allowing cheerleaders to be lifted above shoulder level. An additional spotter is needed for above-shoulder-level stunts, and tosses are still not permitted. 

Stunting is being slowly re-introduced after December 1999, when Tracy Jenson, a Nebraska cheerleader, was paralyzed from the neck down after landing incorrectly during a practice session. After this incident, all public schools in Nebraska were limited to Tier 1 of stunting for a long period of time

“People get hurt all the time in football and all of these other sports, but they don’t say they can’t tackle anymore,” cheer sponsor Kelsey Chastain said. “But, they told cheerleaders that they can’t stunt anymore because they can get hurt.”

With the new opportunities that Tier 2 brings, cheerleaders can be more creative and innovative with their stunting, but many limits are still in place. After so long, stunting is very new to cheerleaders here at West.

“This helps with college, too, because all of the college teams are Tier 2 and above,” senior Ayda Matya said. “But, we can only go straight up and straight down. We can’t really do anything else fun out of it, just back down to the ground.”

Still, there is hope moving forward in cheer. Cheerleaders are able to do libs and cradles, which previously they weren’t able to do. Tumbling may be their expertise, but something new is exciting and adds so much to what they can do already.

This new tier has brought joy to the cheerleaders,” senior Kennedy Cahoy said. “This impacts the team in a great way because we are now able to challenge ourselves more and have more fun while doing it.”

The cheer team is hopeful that in the next five years, they will be able to move on to Tier 3 and have even more access to creative moves and new stunts. For now, the team learns more about stunting through the opportunities Tier 2 has given to them.

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About the Contributor
Ariana Griffin
Ariana Griffin, Staff Reporter
As a senior, this is Ana's second year on the CATalyst staff. She was previously the Online Editor-in-Chief for the CATalyst website and worked with the radio as part of the High School Radio Project. Ana looks forward to writing compelling stories and interviewing new people. Outside of journalism, Ana enjoys drawing, writing, reading and video games. She looks forward to getting to know the rest of the staff and working together with them to produce new and interesting content.

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