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Abby VanAlstyne-Ponce is a sophomore at Averill Park High

Football player moves to the sidelines

Thursday, May 10, 2012
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A one-time football player has decided to trade uniforms and give cheerleading a try.

Josh Delamater, a junior at Averill Park High School, is the newest member of the junior varsity cheerleading team.

The first step to joining the team was to ask his parents' permission.

"My dad laughed, a lot," Delamater said. "My mom was cool with it though. I would have done football , but I missed the tryouts and my girlfriend, Kayla, asked me to join."

After making the junior varsity cheerleading team, Delamater was made a back-spotter in stunts.

He says that the easiest part about practice is the stretching and running.

The hardest part is memorizing the cheers and all of the dancing required.

"I don't move my hips; I'm sorry, I'm not doing that. And there was this one cheer that goes 'Come on Warriors tonight!' but I [accidentally] said 'Come on Warriors this morning!'"

The sport of cheerleading was originally supposed to be an all-male one. When World War I started and men went away to fight, women fully took over and have dominated the sport since.

However, many men, including George W. Bush and Steve Martin, have done cheerleading in the past.

Although many sports have gender blends, such as soccer and track, many students in Averill Park have mixed feelings about the new cheerleading member.

"It's screwed up," John Fasoldt, a senior, said. "Cheerleading is for girls, not guys."

"I think it's amazing that we have a guy on the cheerleading team," Gregory Tuck, a sophomore, said. "He gets all the honeys."

"Everyone gets along better when he's there," said Ciera Schroeder, a freshman on Delamater's team. "He's more consistent and he's good at back-spotting."

Brian Reardon, a junior, said; "I think it's kind of weird. If it was a lot of guys it would be better, but there's just like one dude with a ton of girls. That's just weird."

Delamater says he loves being on the team, and not just for the cheering.

"The best part is being closer to my girlfriend," Delamater said. "And she loves having me on the team."

Delamater is still undecided about whether or not he will do basketball cheerleading in the winter. However, he said that he will probably come back for another year of football cheerleading.

"It's so much fun, a lot more fun than I thought it would be," he said.

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