Is cheerleading a sport? The answer from freshman Sara Cargile would be a definite yes. Cargile is one of the flyers on Corona del Mar’s (CdM) varsity cheer team. This year, Cargile began to juggle attending high school and participation on the varsity cheer squad as a freshman.
Being a flyer requires an enormous amount of physical and mental stamina. Flyers are lifted by their bases into the air, where they perform different motions, cheers and stunts. Bases have the responsibility of balancing and lifting the flyers. There are typically two bases and a back spot per flyer.
“The most challenging aspect of being a flyer is staying tight and confident while in the air. If you don’t have confidence you will fall,” said.
The thought of falling is definitely frightening, but Cargile trusts her bases.
“I get up in the air knowing that I have strong people underneath me and that if I fall there are people [who] will catch me, “ she said.
The collective teamwork of the bases, the back spots and flyer all combine to complete a stellar stunt.
Being on the CdM cheer team as a freshman has its ups and downs.
“The best part of being on the cheer team is doing fun routines for all of the different rallies,” added Cargile.
Cargile’s love of cheer isn’t new.
“I’ve always wanted to be a CdM cheerleader since I was like 7,” she said. It seems like all of her hard work paid off.
The cheer team performs at every rally throughout the year, and is usually accompanied by the song team. Even with the whole school watching her, Cargile flawlessly performs sharp stunts, with a smile on her face the entire time.
Cargile looks up to all of the upperclassmen on the team, but particularly Taylor Green.
“She [of Green] is a really good flyer, she’s so nice and she’s a really good tumbler too,” said Cargile.
Having many role models on the cheer team is one of Cargile’s favorite aspects of being on varsity. She is able to create friendships with upperclassmen and get some great advice from them.
“I like my coaches because they are super funny and nice, but they still coach the team to be better,” she said. She thinks CdM is very lucky to have such a knowledgable coaching staff to help her and the team become better.
Cargile enjoys all aspects of cheer but specifically, tumbling. Tumbling involves running and performing different components such as back and front hand-springs, back and front tucks or standing flips, and aerials, which are essentially cartwheels with no hands.
She believes that her love of tumbling comes from her previous love of gymnastics.
“When I was younger I did gymnastics. I switched to cheer because I had a mental block doing the balance beam. I’ve always loved floor in gymnastics, and [tumbling] is the closest I could get to doing floor with out all the other events,” Cargile said.
Being a cheerleader is hard. It takes countless hours of practice to perfect the complicated moves.
In addition to being on the CdM cheer team, Cargile is on the Pacific Coast Magic (PCM) Fearless team. PCM Fearless is the all-star team for the PCM gym. PCM is one of the many cheerleading gyms in the Orange County area that provides a facility for people to practice. In total, Cargile practices approximately ten hours a week. This includes both CdM practices and PCM Fearless practices.
Cargile also has some advice for aspiring cheerleaders, “I would tell younger athletes interested in doing cheer to stay confident and believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself you are halfway there; stay sharp and always stay positive.”
Cargile also has academic related aspirations. One of her goals it to attend USC. This might be a tough task, but she is up for the challenge.