Staying in Good Cheer

Junior Evie Benson cheers at the Dec. 29 varsity girls basketball game at FCHS.

Photo courtesy of Fluvanna Photos.

Junior Evie Benson cheers at the Dec. 29 varsity girls basketball game at FCHS.

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With social distancing restrictions in place, Fluco fans will have to experience Friday night lights and touchdowns online this season. One fixture which may or may not be missing from the field is the cheerleaders, thanks to Covid-19 restrictions. Still, the cheer team has adapted to these changes and is planning to make the most of their season.

This year’s coaching staff includes returning Head Coach Kenny Larios, as well as assistant coaches David Dimoff and Will Price. These three coaches all come from D1 level cheer and are ready to teach our cheerleaders their skills and knowledge. Although this cheer season is not too normal, the coaching staff has many plans and ideas on how to make it as successful, fast paced, and fun as possible.

This year, the cheer team consists of a basketball cheer team, a football cheer team, along with two competitive cheer teams.

Basketball season has officially started, which means the cheerleaders are now in action. Pre-Covid, the basketball team did not cheer at away games, which will be the same this year. However, due to Covid-19, Larios decided to split the teams into groups of 7-8 cheerleaders per game, and the groups will switch back and forth to evenly cheer at games. This will make social distancing easier while also “giving the team time to catch up on school work and let their bodies rest,” he said.

Football cheer season will start up closer to mid-February. Most details for this season are still up in the air due to potential Covid-19 issues. As of now, the team plans to be at home and away games but is expecting a home game season due to Covid guidelines. Travel is already bringing more of a risk to spread this virus, so the more people Fluvanna can keep at home, the better from a safety standpoint.

During this season, stunts are more common and a big tool of the team. With older girls who have a more competitive background, the coaches want to use this to their advantage. Because of CDC guidelines, this team must remain in the same stunting groups throughout the season. Ellie Miles, a varsity cheer member, says that being in the same stunt group is beneficial because it gives them a chance to “really adapt to the rest of the group and be able to get stronger without having to move around.”

As for the competition cheer teams, they are the best of the best which compete against each other by performing two-minute routines. Fluvanna has a blue team and a gold team, with the blue team being co-ed, and the gold team being all-girls. Covid-19 has also seemed to affect the competition season. Varsity cheerleader Sydney Forren said that competition cheer, her “favorite, has been pushed back again.” While delays like this can be devastating to the cheerleaders, they and their coaches are trying to stay optimistic.