Eagles Cheerleading Squad Gets Boost From First Male

Eagles Cheerleading Squad Gets Boost From First Male

Samantha Thomas

Brittany Reid ('13) poses with fellow cheerleader, Jamal Allen ('11).

Nimo Thande, Editor-in-Chief

In North Point’s gymnasium, the varsity cheerleading team is working on its moves.
With mats spread across the gym floor, the 17-member squad stretches before practice. Among them is the team’s only male member, Jamal Allen (‘11).

When he made the squad through tryouts, he became the school’s first male cheerleader. “He made it through the tryout process,” commented Coach James. “It’s his first time cheering and he’s actually doing a really good job.”

Many of the girls have never cheered with a boy but easily reap the benefits from it. “I don’t have to do as much work because he holds everything,” said Asia Bell (‘11). With Allen’s strength, the team is able to achieve better stunts. “He adds masculinity to the team,” added Samiya King (‘13).

Allen’s favorite part about cheering is tumbling, however he has a hard time remembering his motions. “We kind of have to work around him and take time to teach him the motions,” said Charyte Edison (‘12). She admits that at times they have to modify their routine to fit him.

”The energy that he brings makes everyone want to match that energy.” said James who, along with the rest of the cheerleaders, is excited about Allen’s presence. “He’s interesting to have on the team,” stated King, “he brings a certain spirit.”

“There’s a different atmosphere having a guy on the team, its more energetic,” stated James who has been coaching high school cheerleading for about four years. Ths will be his second time coaching a male cheerleader. “I was actually a male cheerleader when I was in high school,” he added. However, James does not see himself in Allen. “He’s completely different; crazy, foolish, and goofy- I was more laid back.”

Even so both James and Allen encourage more males to start cheering. “A lot of guys are afraid to do cheering because they think it’s a feminine thing or a women’s only sport but I really feel that there’s something you could learn from cheerleading.”

“I plan on going to college for cheering. There are so many scholarship opportunities for male cheerleaders,” added Allen.

So far, Allen said, he’s gotten no criticism for breaking the gender barrier. “What guy wouldn’t want to be on a team full of beautiful girls.”