COVINGTON, Ga. — Cheerleaders dedicate a lot of time and effort to working on various cheers to enhance a basketball environment. Eastside’s cheer squad embodies that dedication.
Their enthusiasm translates to Eastside’s home basketball games, too, according to coach Allison Gilbert.
These girls are really committed to being the best that they can be as a team,” Gilbert said. “They are excited about cheering and excited about the game of basketball. They strive to make sure each cheerleader’s voice is heard in any decision they make about cheers and really have a good chemistry together.”
The 16 cheerleaders — six seniors, five juniors and five sophomores — on this year’s squad have been hard at work developing that chemistry since last summer.
Gilbert highlighted how the team has strengthened their camaraderie throughout the basketball season, too.
“The girls work hard multiple days a week to perfect cheers and come up with unique ways to cheer on our team,” Gilbert said. “These girls compliment each other in their personalities which really makes for well rounded leadership for the rest of the team.”
The Eagles aim to keep the basketball environment upbeat in favor of the girls and boys teams at all home matchups. That’s why Eastside cheer gravitates toward cheers that are going to keep the crowd hyped up all night.
In fact, Gilbert mentioned how players and coaches from both teams have noticed a difference.
“I think that cheerleaders really help set the tone for a basketball game, especially at home,” Gilbert said. “They keep the crowd engaged and hyped up.”
Eastside’s cheerleaders even told Gilbert what their favorite part about being a cheerleader is.
“I asked some of my cheerleaders what the best part is for them,” Gilbert said. “They mentioned having a natural support system in their teammates, encouraging the players and crowd when the game gets tough, and working together to be the best they can be.”
But there’s more important things going on within a cheer squad than just cheering.
There are lessons that being a cheerleader has taught thsat can translate into the rest of their lives. For instance, cheerleaders learn leadership, communication and teamwork – all skills they’ll need for whatever endeavors and careers they pursue.
And, for Gilbert, that’s part of Eastside cheer’s mission to be the best.
“You are not only having fun and staying involved in your school, but you are learning to work with and respect others and to work towards the betterment of a team rather than the individual,” Gilbert said. “I think this really translates to life after high school.”