Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Raptors Cheer Spotlight

Cheerleaders take the stage!
Salt Washed Photography
The team 💚😄

Say hello to the most enthusiastic girls on campus! Academic Magnet Cheer, the longest running sport on campus (May – February), is responsible for more than most people may know: Cheering on raptor football, basketball, attending school events, all along with attending multiple competitions each season, one in which we achieved #1 in our division last year! You can find us slaving away in the Cafeteria every day after school, or occasionally in the Gym Lobby during volleyball games if we get lucky. Practices are every day after school along with team tumbling once per week and obviously game days. They consist of stunting, rehearsing  the competition routine, learning dances for game days, and lots of conditioning! The team is led by the four upperclassmen on the team, consisting of myself, Shivani Balasubramaniam, Scarlett Borrelli, and Ava Irwin. In order to get the inside scoop from my teammates, I talked to several of the girls in order to hear their thoughts and opinions on our beloved sport.

  • How do you feel about the statement “cheer is not a sport?”
  • What is your favorite cheer/ dance?
  • Why did you decide to become a cheerleader?
  • Do you have a favorite person to stunt with? What stunt position are you?
  • What are you most excited about for the season?
  • Who’s your favorite football player?
  • Do you like football or basketball better?
  • How do you feel about our new travel arrangements?
  • What’s your favorite song to listen to at practice?

“How do you feel about the statement ‘Cheer is not a sport?'”

Thankfully, the common consensus seems to be that cheer is as much of a sport as football or basketball. Grace Smith informed me that Competitive Cheer is actually an olympic sport, so I will be telling this to the next curmudgeon that asks what we even do during practice or comments that this question is “too controversial” to put in my article.

What is your favorite cheer/ dance?”

It seems that everyone likes the crowd involvement cheers best, which is understandable. These are definitely the most fun because we get to interact with the Bird Cage! Cheers such as “Boogie Down” or “Pump it up” allow for student involvement in cheers, although it can be frustrating when the student section goes faster than the cheerleaders. Along with these crowd involvement cheers, several people liked the halftime performances or dances we learned to perform at our upcoming little kids cheer clinic! Yay!

Why did you decide to become a cheerleader?”

Considering that many high school cheerleaders did not cheer in middle school, people decided to join for different reasons. Mackenzie Dennis claims she joined the team because of the “Cheer movie stereotypes”, which honestly is so real and I can definitely get behind that. Evie Chowdhury says she joined in order to be part of a team, which I found really sweet! Kristyn Fletcher says she joined because she did cheer when she was little, and Grace says she joined because “someone told her to”. I definitely appreciated hearing this because it was the same reason I joined as a sophomore even though I had zero cheer-related experience whatsoever.

“Do you have a favorite person to stunt with? What stunt position are you?”

There are four stunt positions in cheer: Backspots, main/side bases, and flyers. Flyers are the ones at the top of the stunt, while the two bases each hold one of her feet. The backstop stands in the back and her job is to force the flyer into the stunt. Flyer Shivani comments that her favorite person to stunt with is Eliza Miller because she is “strong”, which seems to be a favorite characteristic of bases and backspots. Additionally, multiple people commented that Evie and Mackenzie are some of their favorite people to stunt with!

What are you most excited about for the season?”

Considering that the cheer season lasts nearly year-round, there are many events to get excited about over the course of the school year. Evie says that her favorite part of the cheer season is “getting good at competition routines.” Sabreen Adem says she is excited for more football games, and Amy Adyaeva says she is excited for the upcoming Homecoming game! Definitely a lot to get excited about as the year progresses.

Do you like football or basketball better?” 

In my opinion, football and basketball are both fun, albeit very different. One pro of basketball games is that they are indoors and don’t last as long. However, everyone I talked to said they preferred football. I can see why they would say this as football games are more hype and attendance for basketball can be limited at times. Myself, I personally prefer football because I think it’s more engaging!

“How do you feel about the new travel arrangements?”

Recently the cheerleaders have had to start riding with the Football seniors on their very, very nice bus. I remember when this was decided there was some gripes about it throughout the team, but after our bus ride with them to Burke many of the cheerleaders seem to be fans of this arrangement! Mackenzie says she is happy that the “whole team gets to be together rather than in separate cars”, and many people were excited about playing some favorite tracks from artists such as Britney or Bruno Mars. I definitely found people’s excitement about this arrangement entertaining as I remember the football seniors being very grumpy and reluctant about sharing their bus. They may have an ally in Sophia Caitindig or Izzy Robinson though, who both believe that we should have our own bus to take to away games.

Who’s your favorite football player?”

I promised multiple people I would keep this question anonymous so I will not quote people directly. However, some of the mentioned favorite players include Harrison Crites, Ellison Ryan, Campbell Stocklosa, Tyler Perez, Caleb Parish, an unnamed SOA student with a buzz cut who is “capital H-O-T hot”, and most of all, Beatty Cummings. Beatty, you definitely have a fan club amongst the underclassmen.


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