Cheering from the Front Row

by Elizabeth Pitts-Hibbard
Photo by Elizabeth Pitts-Hibbard/The Marlow Review Photo by Elizabeth Pitts-Hibbard/The Marlow Review

Editor’s Note: This content is part of The Review’s special section commemorating the Outlaws’ historic 2021 season and the Class 2A state championship win. The special section was included with the December 16 edition.

Marlow Outlaw cheerleader Chesnie Stuart said that she loves being on the cheer squad because they have a “front row seat” to the game.

“We can see everything, and we know that when we yell that they can hear it on the field,” Stuart said. “We get super excited because we’re right there, we’re feet away, and we can cheer from there.”

Her teammate Kyah Blundell said that she loves making sure the crowd stays engaged.

“I love when we do a cheer or a dance and we can see their reaction, and we’re helping them get into it,” Blundell said.

“Sometimes at a game, you can feel the momentum shift from one team to another, and the crowd has a lot to do with that,” said Cheer Coach Amy Herchock. “When the team is up, the crowd is up. When the team is down, the crowd is quiet. So we try to keep as much positive energy as we can.”

Blundell said that the crowd engagement has been incredible this year, and she attributes that to the cheerleaders’ energy level.

“We all get along and we all work together to keep our energy going,” Blundell said.

“They are one unit,” Herchock said. “They set a goal at the beginning of the year: you know, competition is fun and it’s fun to be the one in the limelight, but that’s not what our goal is. Our goal is to promote school spirit on the sidelines or basketball court or wherever.”

Part of achieving that goal was to be more involved with the crowd, the band and the student section at games, whether joining in chants or encouraging participation in callbacks with the crowd.

“When we get louder, the crowd knows that they can join in our cheers,” Stuart said. “They’re more willing to engage with us and the players hear it.”

The bold engagement that the cheerleaders have had with the fans this season have helped in other areas of school, according to Stuart.

“When you stand in front of a crowd that big and that loud and you’re screaming at the top of your lungs, it’s not as scary to read your essay in front of 15 people,” Stuart said.

Both cheerleaders agreed that the increased energy they put in to the Outlaws’ football season will carry over into basketball and wrestling.

“You’ll see it Friday night at the home game against Washington,” Herchock said.