Double Trouble? Board Approves Cheerleading Changes
by Hailey Elder | Class of 2018 | Dec. 12, 2017
After being petitioned by student athletes who also wish to cheer, the school board approved making cheerleading at Hudson High School an extracurricular activity rather than a sport.
Why the change?
According to the superintendent, Dr. Anthony Voss, both he and the school board were in support of the change in policy for various reasons.
First, they felt cheerleading did not meet the criteria to be classified as a sport because cheerleaders at Hudson school do not participate in any form of competition. Second, they were compelled by the athletes who expressed wanting more opportunity at HHS. Lastly, they felt having more students in school activities strengthens both the activity and the school.
The decision has affected the number of cheerleaders on the team.
Due to the policy, the original team of 11 became a team of 17, making this year’s team the largest in Hudson history. Joining the squad were four volleyball players and two cross country runners.
Not all change is good
To the surprise of some, junior Grace Jorgensen, who started her third year in cross country ranked 13th in the state, was one of the runners who opted to also do fall cheer. Jorgensen, who thought it would be challenging to juggle the responsibilities of both activities never thought of the biggest drawback she’s faced- the cost.
“It’s really expensive!” said Jorgensen who has had to spend
over a hundred dollars in sport gear, not including her $120 running shoes.
The decision has not only affected the ones involved in cheer and sports, but also their teammates. Although she sees the good in the change as well, junior volleyball player Olivia Kolterman worries that the two activities together have overwhelmed her teammates.
Cheerleader Katelyn Pint also sees challenges with the decision. “It is hard to have practices, teach cheers and work on stunts when we have to work around their schedules,” said junior Katelyn Pint, who has been a football cheerleader for three years.
Better than expected
Despite these challenges, the dual participation has gone smoother than anyone anticipated. “I think it’s a great thing to have girls who can do both. The girls who are doing both are glad they have the new opportunity to try something they couldn’t before,” said senior Lauren Murray, varsity volleyball.
Switching cheerleading to an extracurricular is probationary this year. Dr. Voss is undecided on whether or not he will recommend this continue next year. “It’s too early to tell,” said Voss, who plans to see how it will affect winter sports season. Dr. Voss is optimistic to the policy. “I’m willing to try it [because] I want [students] to have as many opportunities as you can.”
Fall coaches are behind the policy in the future, too. Cross country coach Sherri Selenke said, “ I think this has shown that it is manageable and workable and allows the students to be involved more with extracurricular activities.”