Students request cheerleading program for winter sports

Luverne School Board members have received another student request for basketball cheerleading after a 16-year hiatus.

Senior Syndal Pick made the request, both written and in person, for the activity’s return.

“I am asking for basketball cheerleading — because with only one season of football cheerleading — not a lot of girls have an option to join,” she said at the school board’s regular meeting Nov. 23.

“A lot of these girls who want to join have been in a fall sport and can’t join.”

Accompanying Pick at the meeting were six other students and one parent in support of cheerleading at home basketball games for both the girls’ and boys’ teams.

Pick explained six cheerleaders would make up one squad, based on the space in the gym.

The fall football cheering squad had a dozen members.

Leah Radisewitz, the football cheerleading coach, has said she is willing to be the adult adviser for winter cheerleading.

She also outlined what participating in a team activity has meant to her.

Pick said she was invited to join the football cheerleading squad three years ago and said cheerleading offered friendships, a sense of belonging to a team, and determination, confidence and patience.

She credited the 13 years of experience coach Radisewitz brings to cheerleading for her continued participation in the cheer program.

“She has taught me everything I know and has made this sport or activity important to me and to all these girls who are also here with me,” she told board members.

Pick said the cheerleaders received new uniforms and pom-poms this year for the football season, and the uniforms would be used during the basketball season as well. Signs to decorate hallways and the gym would also be supported from the fall season’s supplies.

“We have the girls, a coach and the equipment needed,” she wrote. “We just need your approval.”

Because the matter wasn’t on the board’s agenda, no formal action was taken. But consensus from the six members present (clerk Reva Sehr wasn’t in attendance) supported reinstating the winter activity.

“There is a different (more upbeat) atmosphere with cheerleaders there,” said vice chairman Tim Jarchow.

Cost for the football cheerleading adviser was $1,470.

An informal petition with 70 signatures from students and staff was presented to the School Board members at the Nov. 21, 2017, meeting.

At that time, senior Ashlee Boltjes and junior Jacinda Hustoft asked board members to reinstate cheerleading as a winter sport; however, no formal board action was taken.

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