The student news site of Lancaster High School

Eye of the Gale

The student news site of Lancaster High School

Eye of the Gale

The student news site of Lancaster High School

Eye of the Gale


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Soaring to New Heights

LHS varsity cheerleaders make history
2023-2024 Varsity cheerleaders work to perfect a new stunt.

For the first time in Lancaster High School history, the cheerleading team has implemented stunting into their program. A stunt is an acrobatic cheerleading skill involving one or more cheerleaders lifting and tossing another in the air, which takes the sport’s difficulty to a much higher level. Sports fans will see the cheerleaders performing advanced stunt sequences, basket tosses, and pyramids. 

Varsity coach Lindsay Strittmatter said that learning to stunt has brought new life to the cheer program and for athletes to compete at the collegiate level in the future.

“With stunting at the high school level, my cheerleaders have the ability to grow their skill set and become confident in their position. This opens the door for more of our athletes to participate in collegiate cheerleading,” said Strittmatter.

One example of stunting is the classic basket toss in which a few athletes serve as bases and literally throw another athlete, the flyer, in the air.  The flyer performs a skill in the air before falling and being caught by the bases.  To catch the flyer, the base’s hands interlock like a woven basket.  The stunt can be dangerous. According to the Stanford Medicine website, cheerleading has evolved into an athletic activity with a risk for injury because of its demands for great strength, agility, and gymnastic skills (2023).

“Do I get nervous? Of course, but I am confident in my athletes and their skill level. I love hearing the cheers for their hard work and watching their faces light up. I get excited to watch them each week and all that they accomplish during practices,” said Strittmatter.

The bases in cheerleading serve as the stunt’s foundation. The bases are the catalyst to getting the flyer up high in the air and have to have the ability to catch the flyer on her way back down. The bases must be taller and stronger than the flyer and they must use the strength in their arms and legs, as well as be able to routinely position their hands and feet in the right placements to stabilize themselves during the stunt. Varsity cheerleader Jayuana Latham said that the stunts are harder to perform than they look.

Junior Jayuana Latham varsity cheerleader (base).

“Some challenges I have faced with stunting this year would be trying to learn how to do it, because there’s more to it than putting someone in the air, you have to learn where to put your hands, how to stand, and even understand that not every stunt sequence is going to be the same,” she states. 

Trust among the athletes is essential when it comes to stunt sequences. Latham said that the higher level of skill that stunting demands has affected the team dynamic in a positive way.

“I had always wanted to try stunting, so when I found out we were going to be stunting, I was ecstatic. It has brought so much joy to this cheer team, and so much trust has been developed over the previous few months,” she said. 

The position of flyers can serve as many different names, including top girl, mounter, and flyer. This position refers to the person who is lifted or tossed into the air. It is likely the most desired position in cheerleading since it provides the excitement and exhilaration of gracefully flying through the air and becoming the center of attention. Being a flyer requires several skills and abilities. Varsity cheerleader Avah Meadows says that she loves being a flyer because of the thrill she gets, along with the crowd. 

Senior Avah Meadows varsity cheerleader (flyer).

“I adore flying due to the adrenaline rush and the crowd. Being a flyer is not easy, and I am grateful for the opportunity,” she said.           

However, being a flyer entails so much more, such as understanding that being a flyer takes many risks. The athlete flying should be at the proper level to know when to stick, hit, and pull the stunt together. The flyers should know the terms: stay tight, use your arms, balance, and keep eye contact with the ground. One of the biggest risks flyers take is failing or falling. 

“Trying new talents while flying has been a challenge for me this year. You are likely to fail when trying to learn new skills, and it can be difficult to desire to try again after a harsh fall,” said Meadows.  

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