A look into the past, present and future of Garfield’s cheer team


Art by Lucy Gaines

Cheer holds a unique place in the sports community at Garfield. For as long as there have been sporting events, there has been an audience and enthusiasts to cheer them on. Since the first flip in 2006, here in the GHS gym, cheer has been striving for greatness. They are on the rise. 

The future is bright, and the past is rich. The Cheer team has deep roots in the community, with graduated cheerleaders at many Garfield football or basketball games. A strong history empowers this generation of cheerleaders, but not without conflict. “Most definitely I think we should have a space just like basketball and football. I think that we get put off to the side a bit because we’re not football, we’re not basketball, we’re not soccer, we don’t get treated like a priority,” junior cheerleader Connie Fields said.  

Their challenges don’t stop outside the building. “There’s a lot of old school members, just long-time alumni, [who] get upset that we don’t do the old school cheers,” Fields said. Nevertheless, the alumni hold a special place in the cheer squad’s heart. “One woman who used to be on the cheer team comes and watches us a lot and she really likes us,” Fields added. Recently, the cheer squad have been looking for ways to shake things up, so they look to the past for ideas that have proven successful. “It would be cool to bring back some old school cheers because we have a lot of old-school cheerleader people coming to watch us, and they get hyped hearing their old cheers again.” The squad respects and learns from its past, knowing they are the legacy of an important tradition and are responsible for creating a successful future for the coming generations. “Our new team is loose and we just know how to come together, we are a sisterhood,” Fields said. Good things can be expected from this year’s squad. With the heart that this team has, they will bring the spirit and unity that they feel has been absent from Garfield for so long. 

 Improvement and perfection has always been the team’s goal.They took home the trophy at their annual beginning-of-the-year cheer camp this year. “We cheered against Liberty, Tahoma, [which was] kinda intense, [since] you don’t know what other teams are gonna bring”, Fields said.

The squad knows hundreds of cheers and has to execute them cleanly for competitions. “It’s gotta be clean,” Fields said, “You’re judged on your jumps, your calls, your kicks, and your cheers.” According to Fields, there is visible improvement in the squad’s behavior since she first saw the team in 2019. “Before COVID I watched the seniors cheer, it was so different and you can see all the change. Our cheerleaders bring more umph to our school,” Fields said. Becoming their own squad this year is their top priority, “We do new things. This is new, we are new,” Fields said.