Homecoming is quite a big deal for many high schools across America. For Waubun High School, it is the same. This week-long celebration was exciting for many people in our school ― including the cheerleaders.
The homecoming game, the culmination of the week’s activities, was an important event for the Mahnomen-Waubun community. The Thunderbird motto is “One team, one goal.” This one event that takes place during the school year, helps our small communities stick to this motto -- and the Mahnomen-Waubun Thunderbird Cheer Team is there to lead the excitement.
The Mahnomen-Waubun Thunderbird Cheer Team was scheduled to perform three times throughout the week. The first two times were at pep rallies for students that attend Waubun/Ogema and also staff. The third time they performed during halftime at the homecoming game that took place Friday Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. Often times, the team does daring stunts to wow the crowd during their performances.
When asked about feelings towards the stunts, many of the cheerleaders replied that they are confident in their ability to perform the routine without flaws.
The homecoming routine is, in part, something that the team learns at summer cheer camp in August. The rest — stunts, jumps, and much of the dance portion of the almost three-minute routine — was created by Captain Arianna Anderson with input from Captain Carissa Kent.
Each team member is obligated to not only learn this routine and practice during scheduled practice times, but Coach Pariso requires practice at home as well. Within a shared Google folder, all necessary moves are recorded so that access is available to all.
“This team is one of the best yet! The complexity of the stunts continue to improve, and the girls are all dedicated to learning and trying new things. It is an exciting time to be a Thunderbird!” said Coach Pariso, who has almost twelve years of experience coaching cheerleaders at Waubun High School.
During the routine, the cheerleaders said that there was a major adrenaline rush.
“The cheers from the crowd relax me,” says Leah Olson, a third-year cheerleader for the Mahnomen-Waubun Thunderbirds.
After the performance, most said that there is a feeling of overwhelming satisfaction, and tiredness; many of the stunts and the routines that are performed are extreme and the precision involved takes concentration.
“My favorite part is after the stunts are over, so that I don’t feel like I am in front of the crowd anymore,” stated Alicia Vanpelt, a first-year cheerleader.
Overall, the cheerleaders are extremely important to Mahnomen-Waubun homecoming week. Every year they work hard to impress the crowd and ramp up the enthusiasm — and this year they did just that.