Cheering with masks as Mo. high school sports season begins

Updated: Jul. 24, 2020 at 6:35 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The Missouri State High School Athletic Association approved an upcoming season of sports and activities. but as gameday support for the spectators comes with social distancing guidelines and the use of personal protective equipment, the same is true for a local squad of cheerleaders.

“This season in cheerleading, I’m super excited to cheer with my teammates. And with a mask or not we are going to make the best of it, get the crowd involved and have the best season ever.”

Senior Cheerleader Mary Catherine Young said she tries to not let a mask affect her performance.

“So, it does get difficult at times when we are doing dances and stunts, we do get out of breath,” she said. “It’s a little bit harder to breathe of course, but we try to just push through so we can stay as safe as we can.”

Varsity Cheer coach Tanya Davis said while practicing and performing, the team follows the county guidelines.

“It says that while your playing a sport, you don’t necessarily have to be masked,” she said, and that at any time the Universal Cheerleaders Association could change their guidelines making it illegal to wear a mask.

“Cheerleaders cannot wear jewelry during stunting,” she said. “This could be a possibility where it could get hung on another girl as their stunting. It could go in their eyes and they can’t see as the girl is coming down.”

But for now, Davis said she’s doing all she can to make sure her squad remains safe,

“We are wearing masks regardless, even though we are six-foot socially distancing,” she said. “We are particularly wearing masks when we’re stunting because the girls are so close together. We figure that’s the safest thing to do.”

The Notre Dame cheerleading team normally goes to cheer camp at a university over the summer, but this year decided to bring in college cheerleaders to help them get ready.

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