Basketball cheer takes center court at games

Graham’s basketball cheer team is a fun and exciting addition to each varsity basketball game and this year is no different. The team has been coached by English teacher Debra Brewster since 2001, with the exception of six years when she took off to be home with her daughters. She says, “I love it because we have so many new girls getting an opportunity to do something that they probably wouldn’t come out for in the spring. And they’re excited and trying to learn and students are positive to them which I love.”

Shayla Short (12) is a newcomer to the team this year. She’s never cheered before, but she is eager to learn and having fun doing it, “It was frustrating at first because it was difficult to learn all the cheers, but now it’s fun.” 

This is also Lucy Hurley’s (10) first year cheering on the team. When asked what her motivation was for joining she replied, “My cousin Abby Shoemaker was in basketball cheer, and she said it was a really fun experience, so I wanted to do it. It’s gone really well so far.”

A veteran to the team, Ethan Baker (12) has been a member of the squad since his freshman year. He said, “I joined my junior friends my freshman year and that kind of got me into it, but this year is the best year I’ve had.” 

This is also Dylan Newsome’s (10) second season cheering. As one of the only two boys, he said Brew convinced him to join. This season, from his perspective, has gone well. He says, “This season has been really good – we have a lot of new cheerleaders from my grade, so that’s really cool.” 

Basketball cheer isn’t the same as competition cheer that takes place in the fall. “It’s all sideline – we don’t compete. They do dances and stunts and they cheer. I’m so proud of how far they’ve come, though, that I actually do get excited like it’s comp season a little bit,” Mrs. Brewster says. 

When it comes to their favorite and least favorite parts of the sport in general, each person has their own opinions. Shayla Short said, “My favorite part is that it’s my first year cheering and they’re really nice to me, even though I’m bad at most the stuff.” Dylan Newsome said, “My favorite is being able to go out there and have fun and get to do what you like to do with the team.” Lucy Hurley also added her thoughts saying, “I really like doing stunts. The dances are fun too. They’re hard to learn, especially since I have no dance or cheer background. There’s really not anything I don’t like about it.” 

Mrs. Brewster contributed her thoughts, “My least favorite part is when the schedule gets all crazy because of snow, but it hasn’t happened yet. I also don’t like to see anybody get hurt, in stunting or anything. My favorite would have to be when you see kids come in and appreciate the opportunity, who work hard to get better and they may not be perfect at first but they grow. You see their confidence grow and they’re just having fun and they enjoy doing it. They kind of get a bond, this group of kids.” 

The rest of the season is optimistic, Ethan Baker says, “I’m looking forward to seeing the less experienced people get more experienced towards the end, and of course, ya know, we can help out the basketball team maybe.”

All in all, basketball cheer seems to be a fun time, no matter who you are.

It’s just… they’re just a good group of kids, I’m proud of them.”

— Mrs. Brewster