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The Seven Hills School

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Stingers Athletics

The Seven Hills School

Stingers Athletics

The Seven Hills School

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Announcement

1 month ago @ 12:32PM

Cheerleading in COVID: Social Distancing and School Shutdowns (Student Story)

By Naina Purushothaman—

The Seven Hills School—In past years, Seven Hills’ cheerleaders have boosted school spirit. But this year, not only do they have to keep the Stinger pride high, but they also have to navigate changes posed by COVID-19 safety protocols and school shutdowns.

Leading up to the 2020 season, Jennifer Licata, the coach of the cheerleading team, said she was preparing for a highly-unusual season. The team previously cheered at most home games and some away games at rival schools, but this year they will only attend home games for both girls and boys varsity basketball teams. “During the game when they are cheering, they will stay spread out along the sideline, so that will not affect them. However, they will not be able to do any cheers or dances at halftime, and we can’t travel to away games. This will certainly be a change,” said Licata.  

Due to the limited number of spectators who attend games, cheerleaders, their parents, and the parents of the players will be the only fans at each game. Licata said, “Hopefully, (the cheerleaders) can be loud and encourage the parents to also be loud, so we have a bit of a home-court advantage. This will be a big change from previous seasons because often the stands had a lot of fans in them, especially on Middle and Lower school spirit nights.” 

The season kicked off on Nov. 2, but on Nov. 13 Seven Hills shifted to a remote program for Middle and Upper school after Thanksgiving Break and for the remainder of the calendar year. “The hardest thing that the team has had to overcome is our season being put on hold. We were all very excited for this season too,” said junior Gabrielle Christmon, a cheerleader on the team. 

As COVID-19 surges begin to close schools across the city, the prospect of finishing out the winter sports season remains unclear. “We’re going to continue to stay positive and hope for the best,” said Christmon.

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