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Beyond the Bows

A look into the life of an OLP cheerleader

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With 6 am practice, football or basketball games every Friday, monthly school rallies, and weekly competitions in the winter, the life of an OLP cheerleader is more than just the sparkly uniforms and the perfect ponytails.

At OLP, cheerleaders need to put in the work in order to pull off their stellar performances. Morning practices 4-5 times a week are a necessity, despite the exhaustion that comes along with it.

Senior cheerleader, Julia Smyth says, “Although the early mornings take a toll on our sleep cycles, we get a lot done. We manage to get ready for competitions, games, and any other performances in the short time that we have in the mornings before school.”

Cheerleaders play a big part in school rallies at both OLP and Saints. At OLP, they lead each class in their “One” cheer, and preview their competition routines. “They always pump up the crowd and we love seeing them perform their exciting stunts,” says OLP student, Sophia Hernandez.

So far, the girls have competed in 5 competitions; both JV and Varsity teams have had great success, winning first at almost every competition! They are now approaching the JAMZ Nationals competition that will take place in Las Vegas in late February. The OLP cheerleaders are hoping for another win for their final competition.

Gabby Belsito, a senior at OLP, has been a committed member of the OLP cheer team since her freshman year. As a result of her great dedication, she is one of the best bases and tumblers on the team.

Gabby not only has been an OLP cheerleader for four years, but she has also participated in additional extracurriculars and athletics. In addition to being a cheerleader, Gabby is also a star lacrosse player. “I have a passion for both cheer and lacrosse, but being able to participate in both becomes difficult at times. My weekly schedule includes morning cheer practice 4-5 times a week, Spring Sing practice until 4:30 after school, and lacrosse practice from 5-7,” Gabby explained.

Gabby’s constant activity has become a part of her lifestyle. She shared that she could not imagine her life without her busy schedule, and that without it, she would not be as motivated as she is currently.

OLP Cheer has had an immense impact on Gabby’s life. “I found that cheer has become a second family to me, since I see my friends on the team so often and have grown really close to them. I am so thankful that I decided to stick with cheer and stay with my amazing team. I don’t know what I would do without them,” said Gabby.

With excellent GPA’s, involvement in other sports, and endless extracurriculars, OLP cheerleaders like Gabby Belsito prove to be more than the stereotypical cheerleader.




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Beyond the Bows