Cheerleaders’ Confused About Traveling To Away Games

Cheerleaders%27+Confused+About+Traveling+To+Away+Games

Marianna Franco, reporter

Schools across the nation are doing whatever it takes to keep their students healthy and safe! Which means everyday normal things would be a little different this school year, as all teams would be figuring out how to adjust to the new ways of keeping their distance. Lakeview High School and it’s community still wants to be able to show their Bulldog spirit, but at a safe distance, of course, as Lakeview cheerleaders cheer on the Bulldogs six feet apart from one another.

Due to Covid-19 the 2020 highschool football season would have to be cut in half; with only six games, the cheerleaders knew they wouldn’t want to miss anything. However, as the cheerleaders were preparing for the season, Cheerleading Coach, Christina Farr, had to inform the girls that she was told cheerleaders would not be allowed to travel to away games this year. 

Only six games in our 2020 football season and now this! Junior Kaylee Miller said, “I was very upset and disappointed that our season was cut short, but my team and I are still ready to support our Bulldogs no matter what the situation is! If we travel with them or not, we are still going to cheer them on, just like any normal season!” 

Little did anyone know that everything was just one big miscommunication! Local schools had a meeting with the Trumbull County Health Department to discuss the Ohio Health Department’s guidelines and recommendations regarding the ability to travel to away games with the marching bands, majorettes, cheerleaders, etc. 

OHSAA gave the requirements based on guidance from the Governor’s Office: schools are to try and limit the number of players dressed for the games. They listed off the limited amount for each appropriate sport/team, as well as addressing to limit marching bands or any pep bands to performing only at home events. 

Cheerleaders are a part of football teams and are considered with most schools as part of their own sport in the Board’s policies, allowing the girls to letter and not considered part of the band as the majorettes and flagline are part of the band. This is where the confusion occurred. When the email was sent over to the cheerleading adviser, they included the cheerleaders within that email. The Ohio Department of Health then simply wrote back they were not to travel. From there it was taken back to the schools that everyone including the cheerleaders listed on the email should also not be allowed to travel.

After multiple days and calls between the local schools and the two Health Departments everyone involved managed to make it clear that the cheerleaders are a separate organization and could continue to travel to away games as long as the both the school board and the league allowed them to travel. 

Farr explained, “I thought it was handled very professionally and expeditiously and I am quite happy that the girls are able to cheer at away games in our league! I was happy to help out immediately to get them cheering as much as possible for this season!