Cheerleading is a sport that most often brings to mind girly-girls, big bows, and pom-poms. However, the stereotype ignores the rising number of males in the sport. Nationally and locally, male participation in cheerleading has risen in the past several years.
“When I first started cheer I was expecting it to be easier than it is,” said Andrew Chancellor, a junior at Owensboro High School. “However, I quickly learned it was going to require a lot of hard work and dedication.”
Chancellor cheers for the OHS black squad, which is the tumbling competition team. Over the summer he was awarded an All-American cheerleading award at the Universal Cheer Association Camp, which he attends every year with his team.
The All-American award includes the opportunity to cheer in London at the New Year’s Day Parade. For Chancellor to receive this award he had to try out in front of judges and over 100 other male and female cheerleaders. In his tryout he was asked to perform a cheer, a chant, and his best coed stunting skill. When his name was announced as a recipient of the award he says he was “shocked.”
“I wasn’t really expecting it because there were a lot of people that tried out,” Chancellor said.
This is only Chancellor’s second year as a cheerleader. He has also played baseball for the Red Devils since seventh grade.
His freshman year, he was able to watch how the male cheerleaders threw the girls up in the air and caught them effortlessly. Chancellor wanted to be able to do the same.
“I did not know if I would be able to do that kind of stuff because I’m not that big of a [guy], but it ended up clicking very well,” Chancellor said.
Chancellor’s family and friends have been very supportive of his new sport. His family insisted he take the opportunity to go to London. He said his dad reminded him that this was a once in a lifetime experience.
He hopes to have a bright future in cheerleading with the goal of cheering at a large Division 1 school.
“Whatever happens I have to give all my thanks to the one above and how He has blessed me with a talent like this,” Chancellor said.
About the writer: Julia Kimbrell is a senior at Owensboro High School. Being Student Body Vice President, cheerleader, yearbook editor, and an involved member of her community is what keeps her on her toes. She thrives on Jesus, dogs, fall weather and power naps.