Cheerleading sideline routines take significant practice, hard work and creativity. With Game Day Cheer being named an official Section XI sport, Northport High School cheerleaders can now showcase those routines in a competition format, competing against local districts in hopes of advancing to county, state and national championships.
The Northport High School Varsity Cheer Team is getting ahead of the game and feeling confident heading into their inaugural season. Senior Alexa Ehrlich shared that she has “extremely high hopes” for the season, saying “This team is full of so many talented, determined and hardworking girls, always coming up with new ideas for our routines and games to help benefit the crowd as well as us.”
The newest team addition is “Tanya the Tiger,” the cheerleader version of the school’s mascot, unofficially called “Tony the Tiger.” The addition of Tanya was meant to bring a special and unique aspect to the team who can not only engage the crowds during home games but also bring fun and fresh energy to the team during their Game Day routine.
While Game Day Cheer has been an official sport in other parts of the state for some time, Coach Stephanie Walsh credits the Suffolk County Cheerleading Coaches Association, all the Suffolk County cheer coaches and the local athletic directors with helping get the sport off the ground locally. She expressed her eagerness to get started, sharing “We are so excited for this history-making season!”
Game Day Cheer competitions will function similarly to other sports, where teams from various schools will come together at a host site to compete with hopes of advancing to the county championship. Senior Alexa is feeling confident, sharing that the team has “spent so many hours on choreography and cleaning up this routine.”
“We’re so happy to be in the place we are in,” she added.
While traditional cheerleading competitions focus mainly on skills and routines, Game Day Cheer has an increased focus on encouraging crowd participation and overall crowd-leading skills. The team’s Game Day Cheer competition schedule will kick off in October.