By Lydia Jensen
Pictured above: Hammond Cheer Team in Fall 2020. Photo provided by Bella Deblasio.
This fall season, Hammond’s varsity cheerleading has continued and the team will be present to cheer at every home football game, but is restricted from cheering at away games for now. Cheerleaders are still allowed to cheer, stunt, and tumble, but must wear a mask at all times and sign in.
In addition to this, the schedules for the games are very flexible and change often because of the pandemic, and the best way to know what games are next is to keep in contact with athletes and their coaches because of their tendency to change.
“We’ve only been able to cheer at one game so far this season and it was pretty much the same,” Bella DeBlasio, a sophomore cheerleader, says. Cheer is operating differently in many respects but there are some things that have stayed the same. There are still team captains, this year’s being seniors Kendal George and Leah Garey.
Practices started virtually for the first two to three sessions, but have now been consistently operating in person.
Due to the nature of the pandemic, all cheerleaders must sign in each day and check to see if they show or have symptoms, as well as answer if they’ve been with someone inflicted with the coronavirus recently. All in all, it’s basically the same, except with masks and precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
There have been plans for virtual competitions where teams would send videos of their routines and be judged, and while most of those have fallen through, it is still a very real possibility that some variation of virtual competition may happen in the future. Some competitive gyms outside of schools have started doing competitions.