The History of Cheerleading at WSHS


Cheerleading at West Salem High School has changed dramatically since it began three years ago as part of a Senior Exit Project created by Gracie Larson. When she first brought the idea up to Principal Mr. Malott, he was unsure if it would work because he didn’t know if any girls would sign up. Eventually, he agreed that if she could get six girls to join, she could have a cheer team. Surprisingly, she got seven girls to join the cheerleading squad. 

Amber Walter and Angela Davidson stepped up to coach cheerleading. That year, nine girls were signed up and had a turbulent season. They didn’t have a captain and were unorganized at some points. “Last year could have gone better due to the chaos of students not liking us (the cheerleaders), and having a rough year all around,” said senior Kendra Davidson. 

As the next year continued, the coaches and athletic director Geoffrey Baumann didn’t know if West Salem would even have a cheerleading squad due to the fact that only three girls signed up in the beginning. Eventually, eight girls signed up and got the season started. 

The current cheer season is going by very smoothly and the cheerleaders are accomplishing a lot. “The girls have been working very hard this season and I’m very proud of all of them,” said coach Walter. 

Cheerleading became an official sport at West Salem this year. “Cheerleading becoming a sport was an amazing thing, and I’m very proud of all the girls who made this happen,” said senior McKenna Stadtler. The girls are learning new cheers such as “Panthers Attack” and “F-I-G-H-T Fight.” The girls are also learning new stunts, and even a couple of dances to show off at games and pep rallies such as a dance to the school song, a dance that one of the girls brought in and a dance that Mrs. Deal gave to us. The cheer team hopes to increase membership and start to cheer for the basketball team.