Cheer: A Way of Life
By Louise Manley, Cheerleading Head Coach
August ushered in the return of Cheerleading as the new official Molokai High School sport. This was made possible through the pioneering efforts and perseverance of Nicole Kahale last year, the support of Molokai LIVE, and the vision of the Molokai High School Athletic Department. This year’s fall season has been exciting as nine girls embraced the vast challenges that the sport of cheerleading demands.
Cheerleading is different from other sports in that it is actually a way of life. The foundation of this program is best defined through the acronym for C-H-E-E-R: We are “C” committed, “H” to be humble, “E” to encourage, and “R” to be radiant as we shine our light in this community! Once the mindset of cheer has been developed then the physical as well as the mental aspect of cheer must be developed.
Over the last four months, the members of this squad have memorized over 75 individual cheers, two full length dance routines, various jumps and kicks, beginning gymnastics and even the basics of stunting! As with all MHS sports, these athletes are students first and foremost, so they are required to accomplish athletically, they are simultaneously responsible to maintain their academic excellence and be responsible for other commitments with the school and at home.
Special thanks is to be given to Molokai LIVE program, which has been instrumental in not only bringing cheerleading back but in creating a supportive environment for each of these students to learn and grow, setting them up for success. The provide two hours of study hall per week, offering available tutoring in the area of greatest need. They purchased team uniforms that we have used for all of our performances and provided an opportunity for the members to travel to Oahu two weeks ago.
We attended the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Cheerleading Championship and were wowed by the performances put on by schools statewide. The cheerleaders also visited Kapiolani Community College and Windward Community College to foster students’ college and career planning and had a hands on history lesson at the World War II Valor of the Pacific National Monument and the USS Arizona Memorial.
MHS Cheerleading is far more than the stereotypical cute uniforms and big hair bows; our cheerleading program is about the development of character, mindset of excellence, and an awareness of the need to encourage others! From Cheer Coach Louise Manley and Dance Coach Melinda Yamashita, a big CHEER to all the students and their families for our season and welcoming new members to our group which will continue through the third quarter of the school year. May we seek to CHEER each other on, making CHEER a way of life!