Sticking It: Life as a Dublin High School Competitive Cheer Parent
“Hey ‘9-4-5-6-8’ Who Do We Appreciate? Cheer Moms and Cheer Dads: Yay!”
10 days ago we spent 3 minutes watching 24 girls give 100 percent to a routine they spent 4 times per week for 11 months to perfect.
We’ve been called a clique.
We’ve been called a mob.
We’ve been called crazy.
We call ourselves Proud Parents of National Champions.
Call us a clique? Fine. We are a clique of parents who share their talents and time for our child’s team success. For these girls we transform into taxi drivers and nurses, chefs and fundraising specialists, hair dressers and make-up artists, mediators, on-site tutors and human ATMs. We have even helped mend a broken heart or two.
Call us a mob? Whatever. We are a mob of moms, dads, grandparents, neighbors and friends, who travel hundreds of miles to rally for the teams and watch our girls perform at competitions and Dublin High School community send-off events. We’ve been known to recruit parentals who don’t even have kids on the team!
Call us crazy? Perhaps. Are we crazy to invest thousands of dollars in our child’s passion for this competitive sport? Crazy to invest 11 months for a 3-minute routine? It’s debatable.
Even if we had been handed a Parental Packet 101 during our first year of cheer, nothing could have prepared us parents for the journey on which DHS cheer led us. Cheer parenting isn’t always butterfly kisses, cheers of rah rah and beautiful moments of bonding between us mothers and daughters. Summer cheer camp, for example, in many ways as primitive as our mommy-daughter Girl Scout camp memories, sure is tough. That experience should earn the chaperones some “Brownie Points” for those 48 hours helping dozens of girls practice their stunts and social skills and even refine a few attitudes. Oh, and all of this “child’s play” was in 100+ degree weather. By the end of the weekend I would say we were ready to teach the first chapter to that Cheer Parent 101 course- and perhaps qualify for a Girl Scout Golden Mommy Award for dealing with the major PMS (Poms, Moms, and Stress)!
“I love that Cheer brings Dublin together to support our girls. My daughter has been cheering competitively for over 10 years, and Dublin High School has been the best program. The coaches, parents, and cheerleaders are all so dedicated. The reward of being named National Champs makes it that much sweeter.”, Sherry Loebrich, parent of Senior Varsity cheerleader Alex.
This past year we have seen much athletic sport success at Dublin High School. Yes, cheerleading is a sport. This sport is constantly pulling at its athletes’ time management, physical ability, mental concentration, and social skills. It’s a rollercoaster ride of feel good moments and let downs. So, even though we were never issued a Parental 101 guide, after years of experience, we are now AP- skilled in the meanings of poofs, scorpions, bobbles, dumps and “sticking it”. Do these cheer terms sound painful? Well, at times they are. But if competitive cheer were easy, then it wouldn’t hold any value. From learning to perfect the art of the perfect pony, to being the weekend-savior for remembering to bring nail polish remover, each parent contributes a skill or a role to the success of these teams.
“I love our Dublin High School Cheer program and all the positive things that it brings out in our girls. Not to mention how proud I am of our 2 time National Champion Varsity team and JV winning their first National title!”, Paula Holman, volunteer team treasurer and parents of two Varsity Cheerleaders, Maris and Taylor.
We have parents such as Rodelyn Coppock known for their cheers and initial shout- out “Bring It!” Or Marcelo Ablao, fruit-providing extraordinaire, who spoils the girls with beautifully carved melon at practices and returns as our team mascot with a blue dyed Mohawk haircut before each National competition. We also have triple threat dads who step up and gave their best game singing and dancing to Beyoncé at the Warriors half time show vs. the Kings in 2012. Our team could not survive without our volunteer treasurer Paula Holman and her precise accounting skills. And of course, there are parents who were recruited by Kristine Cousins to coach. Thanks to Colleen Carrion, Anne Marie Madera, Mia Teetsel, and Kim Watson we now have a phenomenal JV and Fallon middle school program. These volunteer “cheer moms with poms” are all also parents of DHS Varsity competition girls!
Yet even with all of our parental talents we can feel helpless. For example, just one week before our National competition, Faith A. broke her foot. The team had to come together physically and emotionally to work double time and re-choreograph the routine. Although none of us could make Faith’s foot heal faster, our dedicated Faith attended Nationals in Las Vegas and the team insisted she go on stage during the championship performance and when they accepted their first place award.
“Traveling with the Dublin High School Cheer moms, I was quickly caught up in the excitement of the Nationals Cheer Competition. Watching the girls perform live on the Arena stage was surreal; I had tears of awe running down my face. I could feel every emotion – the joy, the ambition and the pain of the hard work they had put in to get here. You could have easily mistaken me fo one of the moms with all of the cheering and fist-pumping that was going on in front of the stage! And then hearing both the JV and the Varsity teams announced as National Champions and joining in their celebrations was the absolute icing on the cake!!! Fabulous trip – enjoyed meeting other DHS moms and the food, the drinks, the shopping and the ambiance that is Vegas – can’t wait until next year…”, Mita Hartland, one of our dedicated fans who doesn’t have a daughter on the team.
National Competitions in Las Vegas and Disneyland may sound glamorous. But it was not always a glamorous road getting there. The Mommy Mob and Dad Delegation had to attend numerous qualifying competitions along the way. Our most memorable rite of passage is traveling in 105 degree weather to Turlock to watch our girls in a non- air conditioned gymnasium. But no matter what the venue, this gang of girls, parents, and recruited fans always leave an impression.
What happened in Vegas sure didn’t stay in Vegas! DHS was told to “Bring it!” and they did! They brought the National title all the way home to the 188.8.131.52.8. And not only did they bring home the gold, they also brought home lifetime memories. As did the parents who shared rooms, rides, ranting, raving, and ridiculous fun.
Some critics of this over- zealous clique of parents may see the adults as trying to relive their own high school years through their kids. And this crazy mob enthusiastically responds, “So what if we are!” Nothing beats the feeling of school spirit in a dedicated school. After all, as someone once said “You don’t stop playing because you grow old. You grow old when you stop playing”.
Thanks, DHS for letting me be with you while you “BRING IT”!
- Kerrie Chabot, Enthusiastic and Proud Parent of Camille - Dublin High School Senior, Varsity Competition Cheer Team Captain and twice National Champion, and City of Dublin Young Citizen of the Year 2012.
Note: This Friday the team will celebrate their victories with friends of the program at 7pm at the DHS Student Union. RSVP to Kristine_Cousins@yahoo.com.
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- Congratulations Rachel Cooperstein – Dublin High Homecoming Queen 2010