By Ben Ramirez
Looking out at the home sideline at John Elway Stadium you will notice something none of us have witnessed at our time at Granada Hills Charter High School (GHC). Fix your glasses and do a double take, but your eyes are not deceiving you. For the first time in a number of years, varsity cheer is co-ed.
Junior Andrew Fishman is back tucking and stunting his way to proving that cheerleading is not just for girls. In just the few months that he has been a part of the cheer team, Fishman has gained a new appreciation for the cheerleaders who make stunting look easy.
“I used to think of cheerleaders as the stereotypical high school girl and that [cheerleading] was easy enough that anyone can do it but that is not true at all,” Fishman said.
Fishman’s decision to try out for cheer came after he, looking for a new activity to get involved in, found out that the cheer team was recruiting boys to further improve an already talented group. Since then, he has been a welcomed member of the team.
“Not only is Fishman an amazing cheerleader, he does not care about what anyone else thinks and has a great attitude through it all,” sophomore Abby Ben-nun said.
Despite being the only boy on the team in a number of years, he has not shied away from the pressure that comes along with breaking the gender norms that go along with cheerleading.
Also a member of the varsity baseball team, he is no stranger to putting in the work and has applied that mentality to cheer as well. Fishman says he does not feel pressure being the only boy; instead he has put his head down and continued to improve and have fun.
He does however feel that he has a responsibility to perform well in order to prove to others at school that cheer can be a great team to join. Fishman wants to resolve the misconception that cheerleading is just a girl sport and hopes that he will remove the misinterpretation that boys that are involved with cheer are not masculine. On the contrary, their roles on cheer teams require a great amount of strength training.
“I am a trendsetter in a way and based on how I [perform] I can get more guys to try out. If you’re there for the right reasons, you’ll succeed because it is fun. [I want them to know] it’s not all about getting the girls,” Fishman said.
As for Friday nights, Fishman looks to feel the energy of the crowd, show off what he has learned, and have a good time.