By Bella Cutone
A sense of normalcy seems to have returned to Nantucket High School as the Whalers football team takes on the field, accompanied by the high-spirited Whaler Cheerleaders. Despite newly introduced regulations to their season, fall allotted the cheer team time to adjust and adapt as they begin this “Fall II” season of play. Led by Head Coach Missy Perry and Co-Captains Kamoy Barnett and Alexis Connole, the team is excited for what’s in store.
Due to Covid-19 guidelines, the team’s greatest difference from years past to now is the inability to cheer in front of the bleachers. Instead, the girls are located on the east side of the field, behind the end zone and opposite side of the student section. In addition to this, the team is also unable to travel with the football team. As much as these girls wish this was not the case, they are still grateful for the ability to continue to cheer and perform halftime shows following a few new regulations.
The team takes into consideration the benefits of their unusual fall season. Senior Captain Kamoy Barnett speaks on this, saying, “we were able to teach the new girls the cheers faster than previous years.” With the loss of core seniors as well as other teammates from last year, it was important for this team to form a strong bond and ensure the new girls found their place on the team. Barnett continues, “as a result of this extra season we were prepared with a halftime routine for our first game.”
Barnett expresses a common goal for the team next year, as they hope “to perform various halftime routines and get the go-ahead to return to cheering in front of the bleachers.” In the home-opener, the music was not working for the girls’ halftime show; instead, the girls improvised by counting out the routine. Despite their usual 7-10 game season, the cheerleaders this year currently have a total of 4 games, even though the football team is playing a seven-game season. At the moment, the girls are unable to travel with the football team which leads to their decreased number of games. Knowing the short length of this season, Barnett hopes “to make the best of this opportunity and to have fun.”
The team has high hopes for the football team and they are hoping a successful season will result in a few more home games. Barnett reveals a new dance is in the works, stating, “we are very excited to perform that at the next home game.” Keep an eye out for this new routine in the next few weeks as it is sure to boost our whaler pride.
Although this season is not how anyone would have pictured, the Whaler Cheerleaders are pushing forward, keeping their morale and school spirit high. They are eager to showcase this team’s potential and everything they have to offer.