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Male cheerleaders join the squad for the first time in nearly 20 years

By: Cheyanne Pointdexter

Working together, cheerleaders lift a flyer into the air. Junior Cameron Gentry joined the cheer team this year, along with junior Jordan Ward who plans to join the team after football season.
Working together, cheerleaders lift a flyer into the air. Junior Cameron Gentry joined the cheer team this year, along with junior Jordan Ward who plans to join the team after football season.

At football and basketball games it’s not uncommon to see cheerleaders, but what is uncommon is to see buzz cuts among the ponytails.

“My coach has told me and Cameron [Gentry] that there hasn’t been a male cheerleader for a long time,” junior Jordan Ward said.

The last male cheerleader at New Albany was in 1996.

Research shows that modern cheerleaders are 97% female and 3% male.

“A few female cheerleaders asked me to try out for the team, so I went to try out and made it,” junior Cameron Gentry said.

More than sixty-five percent of all catastrophic injuries in youth sports occur in cheerleading, according to The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury at the University of North Carolina.

“I do some flips so I would say cheerleading is a challenge and kind of hard, but that’s what makes it fun,” Gentry said.

Over the last decade, cheerleading has grown into a widely recognized and respected athletic activity, one that requires a great deal of strength and determination, according to Varsity.com.

“I’ve been a cheerleader since I was a kid, so cheering for the Bulldogs is fun and exciting,” Ward said.

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