Something to Cheer About: CHS welcomes new Unified Cheer Team for 19-20 school year


Maddie Kosc

Unified Cheer athlete Maddy Paxton practices her routine with her pom poms. Katie Suder, Unified Cheer coach and senior, said she believes cheer is a fun sport that anyone can participate in.

Adam Spensely

CHS will be adding a new unified team to its list, Unified Cheer. The team will be cheering on the Unified Flag Football team at their games throughout the season. The athletes, their partners, and coaches will be participating in sideline cheers, chants, and stunting at the games. The team consists of three coaches, seven athletes, and anywhere from two to three partners per athlete helping them perform cheers and stunts.  Gabri Beidl, Unified Cheer coach and senior, said inspiration for the founding of the team came from her experiences with special needs students.

PICTURE TIME: Unified Cheer athlete Sydney Kahn poses for a photo with her teammates, senior Madeline Heath and senior Claudia Crookshanks. Research from the Special Olympics showed the many positive impacts that Unified Sports have.

“My mom works with special needs kids at Creekside and they always ask my mom when they can cheer with us at basketball games. I wanted to start a program where they could have their own team, I love helping them,” Gabri said.

Katie Suder, Unified Cheer coach and senior, said she agrees.

“I’ve been a part of unified sports pretty much all of high school and since I didn’t try out for football cheer this past year I thought it would be a great opportunity to get it started,” Suder said.

The team has experienced a large turnout, more than Candace Beidl, co-sponsor of the team, could have thought of.

“We have a waiting list for partners because there’s been a lot more interest than we thought there would have been. We have 7 athletes and about 2-3 partners per athlete and we do have a waiting list for that, which is great because there’s been way more interest than we could have thought at the beginning of the year,” Mrs. Beidl said.

Gabri said she also believes this.

Maddie Kosc
Unified Cheer athlete Michael “Mike” Herod takes a photo with Marie Pelletiere, his paired partner and senior, before practice. Gabri Beidl, team coach and senior, said that Unified sports has always been a fun way for people to make new friends.

“This is the first year we have had a unified cheer team and I feel like it has already been a huge deal. We have had so many people that were interested in being partners in unified cheer.”

Throughout the several practices the team has had so far this season, Mrs. Beidl says she has been able to see the development of the athletes and how participating has brought many benefits to them.

“We have seen these kids just blossom, and it’s been amazing, honestly, they went from being very quiet the first couple of  practices and now they just are so happy and confident in what they are doing,” Mrs. Beidl said.

Suder said she agrees.

“(Unified Cheer) is another sport that allows the community to participate in cheering for their school that otherwise wouldn’t be able to, and it involves creating so many friendships that are unbreakable and I love being able to do that,” Suder said.