Opportunity arises for boys on the cheer squad


Participants sit on the gym floor and read the criticisms they received on their mock tryouts. A total of 19 students made the squad.


A maximum of four boys have been allowed to join the 2019-2020 cheerleading squad. Tryouts took place March 22 where JC Bailey (11), Wyatt Timsah (11), Jaden Laing (11) and Cody Cundell (10) were selected to be yell leaders.

“The position of the yell leaders as a part of the AHS Cheerleading program is the same as all of the other members of the squad. The expectation of them does not change, in anyway, due to the fact that they are a different gender,” cheerleading coach Kayla Richmond said.

The cheerleading squad had yell leaders in the past, but that was 10-15 years ago.

“Cheerleading has changed so much over the last 10 years. It is not just a bunch of pretty or popular girls as it once was. Cheerleaders are much more like gymnasts and athletes now. Adding guys to that equation just allows for more of that athleticism to be noticed,” Richmond said.

Athleticism allows for colleges to notice and show interest in cheerleaders.

There are so many opportunities for guys as a part of a cheerleading squad after high school, some that pay all tuition and fees, so why not allow this opportunity now?” Richmond said.

Boys base in stunts, cheer alongside the girls, and showcase individual talents.

“I heard the opportunity was available and that you can get scholarships for yell leading so I wanted to try it out,” Bailey said.

Eight schools in Kansas that offer scholarships to male cheerleaders, some of these are Butler Community College and University of Kansas (KU).

KU gives partial scholarships for all cheerleaders and many other benefits such as two tickets to every home football game.

“I knew that I could get scholarship money for being on the cheer squad, and it sounded fun,” Timsah said.