Basketball cheer flourishes under new coach


Mira Milman

Cheerleaders perform at the game against Whitehaven High School.

Walking into the Spartan Palace, fans cannot help but notice the loud shouts coming from the sea of cheerleaders dominating the bleachers. A unique spirit shines from each girl as she cheers to spur on the players. These WSHS basketball cheerleaders, with the help of their new coach, have shown vast improvements this year.

Coached by Mrs. Duriya Caldwell, the athletes learn valuable life skills while improving their cheerleading technique each practice.

“Cheer is a wonderful foundation for young girls to learn who they are, become more accountable, accept their bodies, and teach sisterhood.” Caldwell said.

The squad, led by captains DeMecca Prude (12) and Karma Moore (12), has grown immensely throughout this season.

“With the recent change of coaching, this team has done routines and cheers we’d never done in the past. Our team has improved with performance, dedication, and crowd appeal,” Moore said.

By working together to create the new routines and cheers, everyone’s voice is heard during the creative process.

“Our creativity and diversity with cheers has skyrocketed. Everyone contributes to cheers, dances, and routines,” Prude said.

The amount of time that these girls spend together undoubtedly contributes to the strong team chemistry.

“There are so many ugly things going on in this world, and when things get bad and dark for us as women, it is always comforting to be able to call on your sister.  These ladies have learned to depend on one another through this process,” Caldwell said.

Although the season is coming to a close, there are still many opportunities to watch this team as they pep up the basketball court.