Cheerleaders and parents, as well as the few die-hard school spirit fans, are usually
the only ones occupying the away team's side of a football field on any given
Friday night. With fewer fans to get on their feet, it can sometimes be a
little boring when you travel to cheer at other high schools. You can also get
easily discouraged if those nights happen to coincide with big home team events–like Senior Night, Pop Warner Night, and, the biggest one of all, Homecoming. On those
occasions, you will probably be left chanting and cheering to a small
percentage of game attendees, battling to be heard over the other side of the field as they pop off with celebratory music, costumes, yelling and dancing! It just might
not seem fair. What you have to remember is that with every Homecoming game, there is always an away team visiting for the night. So, when you step off
the bus to find that it’s another school's Homecoming weekend, here are some things
to keep in mind.
1. Stay out of the spotlight. It
seems counterintuitive for a cheerleader to shy away from the crowd’s eye, but
unless you absolutely have to, try to stick to your side of the field. Sure, it’s fun to collaborate with the home team cheerleaders in joint
cheers–because, hey, cheerleaders are all-inclusive, even with their rivals–but
Homecoming isn’t the time and place to divert attention to your squad. If you feel
that the other school’s Homecoming hoopla and halftime performances had a deflating effect
on your crowd, wait until game time resumes, amplify your energy, and use the
third quarter to turn your fan's frowns upside down.
2. Remember that your
time will come. Like we said, everyone gets a Homecoming, and your time has either already happened (and was awesome!!) or is right around the corner. Be
patient, don’t be a hater, and let the home team’s student body have their fun for the evening.
The last thing you want to do is start a battle royale between schools by
raining on someone else's Homecoming parade.
3. Watch your step!
You might have your school’s track and field down to a ‘T’, but you’re on
someone else’s turf now. You are aware that it's Homecoming
night, but you have no idea what that school actually has in store! Homecoming
floats are usually pulled by cars and trucks on the track, so make sure you pay attention when they start getting deployed to make their rounds. Try to stay out of the way and off the track if the parade does a full circle. Also, there might be instances where the other team's crowd throws
streamers, balloons, balls, or a number of other things onto the track; be
aware of any objects that could have rolled over to your side during halftime!
Lastly, Homecoming performances often involve props and costume changes, which
could lead to some of the participants throwing items around. Before you resume
cheering in the second half, make sure you do a full scan of the track and
field to avoid injury. You don’t want to sit out for the rest of the season
because you've tripped over something that wasn’t there before!
What else do
cheerleaders need to keep in mind at another school’s Homecoming? Tell us in