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The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

Junior adds Value to the Cheer Team

MC Warner

Rigorous schedule, fast routines, and intense competitions. The cheer team navigates through an intense season in order to encourage and support our football team. Junior Davis Riley recalls showing up for practice right after school. 

“We arrive at four and practice our competition routine [consisting of] stunting, dancing, [and] tumbling…Cheer is a very long sport. You start in May after tryouts, do the entire summer from 10-12 p.m. Monday through Thursday,” Riley said. 

Since he was young, Riley has always considered himself a performer. 

“I was a gymnast for four years and I did dance…I think my talents are being a performer…whether that being sidelined or on an actual stage and bringing life to the student section and bringing life to other people and making them laugh and enjoy themselves,” Riley said. 

Junior Salem Dunaway, a friend and teammate of Riley, describes Riley as being a valuable asset to the cheer team. 

“He brings a very positive attitude everyday and is always lifting other people up and I think he brings a whole different mood to everyone,” Dunaway said. “He brings a joy that only he can bring.”

As Riley is Wando’s first male cheerleader, he has been met with backlash. 

“I’m the first one [at Wando] in the whole 50 years…[there are] some people that aren’t gonna like you or label you or stereotype you as a male cheerleader…but I don’t let it get to me mostly and I focus on the positive things of it,”  Davis said. 

Riley’s Assistant cheer coach, Arriyanna Whitaker, has seen his reliance in the face of adversity. 

“He has the courage to do something that’s new and difficult that most people really wouldn’t do in terms of being the only male cheerleader,” Whitaker said. “He continues to push through even when things are hard or even when people may say things that are not right, he still manages to push through and does it with a smile on his face.” 

During competition season, Davis describes the intense pressure and tension that arises. Davis strives to be a light to others during these times. His position on the team has lightened the spirits of those around him. 

“As a performer he’s very vibrant, he adds a lot of pizzazz to our team and brings a different level of energy,” Whitaker said. “He always finds different ways to lighten the mood when things are difficult…he’s somebody that can keep the team going [and] push them to be better.”

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