Let’s get a little bit rowdy: varsity cheer season

in Profiles/Sports by

Friday night lights are mostly known for football games, but for the cheerleaders, Friday nights mean encouragingly shouting and stunting on the sidelines. The Heritage varsity cheerleaders accompany the varsity football team to all of their games to cheer the players, student section and crowd on. 

The cheer squad practices Monday to Thursday, perfecting various stunts and chants.

“Just watching the cheerleaders at football games — whether at school or at college games —made me think, “Oh, it would be so cool to do that. I want to try it out,” sophomore varsity cheerleader Payton Marrero said. Once Marrero tried out the sport, the rest was history; she now spends every fall Friday night on the sidelines cheering. 

Sophomore varsity cheerleader Kylie McCarthy began cheerleading after becoming inspired by FSU cheerleaders. She enjoys many aspects of cheerleading, especially how it requires teamwork.

“Cheer is very team-oriented. If one group touches the ground, like if the flyer touches the ground, every single stunt group is running – no matter if you were a part of the stunt group that fell or not,” McCarthy said.

With the homecoming football game, Oct. 28, only a few weeks away, the cheer squad has a lot to prepare for. 

“[My favorite part of Heritage is] homecoming; I love Homecoming week,” varsity cheerleading director Mrs. Burns said. “I definitely have a special love for the school spirit.

The Patriot cheerleaders perform a group stunt during the halftime show of the game against Glades Central. The cheerleaders practice in different stunt groups before executing them on game day. “You have to be able to stunt with anybody because our stunt groups change a lot,” McCarthy said. (Photo/Emma Delgado)

Zoe Horwitz, a sophomore at American Heritage, returns to the Patriot Post for her second year as the new Sports Editor. Besides reading and writing, Zoe spends her time playing with her dog or tutoring younger students through Learn with Peers, a non-profit organization she helped found in 2020. During her freshman year, Zoe co-founded FALIA (Food Allergy/Intolerance Awareness) at school, a club that advocates for those with food allergies. Zoe also plays lacrosse, as she plays for a club team and American Heritage girls varsity lacrosse team. Zoe is very excited to be contributing to the Patriot Post.