Letters to the Editor

What about the cheerleaders?

We recently read your article, “Mercer Island student body support for girls basketball is abysmal,” in the March 4 edition of the Mercer Island Reporter. You began your article by thanking the Mercer Island band for their attendance at the Friday night game because “there would not have been any Mercer Island students in attendance for the girls basketball district playoff game, again.” What about the 12 cheerleaders who were in attendance cheering at that game? You mention how there were no flag dudes, no band, no crazy future frat kids at previous games, but nowhere do you mention that the cheerleaders were present cheering for the girls basketball team despite the low fan attendance. The cheerleaders attend all games regardless of the number of fans. Do you know that the cheerleaders attend both boys and girls away and home basketball games? Do you know how many games that is in a week or what their schedules are like during the playoffs for them? Did you know that during Districts, the referees complained because we had too many cheerleaders on the sideline, so now they all attend and switch off at halftime. And, on top of that, the cheerleaders do not have the luxury of being taken by District vehicles like the sport players. School District rules prohibit them from transporting themselves, so it is the responsibility of cheer parents to drive them to games. In addition to cheering at the games, they make dozens of individual locker room signs, put up posters and make treats for the team. They also support the other school teams with signs and goodies.

The cheerleaders are the epitome of the school spirit. You should attend the assemblies and see their performances and the fantastic stunting they do to raise school spirit. They practice a minimum of twice weekly in the entire summer. During the school year, cheerleaders practice at least daily; create spirit signs for all sports teams; bake for players; attend events for other sports, not just football, girls basketball and boys basketball; volunteer in the community and fundraise to support some of their activities and the cost of their uniforms. Additionally, many of the cheerleaders participate in MIHS sports such as swimming, gymnastics, track, tennis and lacrosse. They devote hours to promoting school spirit and deserve to be recognized and thanked by you, the sport teams and the school.

Coach Traci Brandon; Parents of Cpt. Erika Reutimann; Parents of Co-Cpt. Maral Zarandi; Parents of Molly Nemerever; Parents of Maddie Kaufman; Parents of Molly Zager; Parents of Hillary Linton; Parents of Mary Nystrom; Parents of Jackie Pearson

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