Since the coronavirus pandemic is still very much unpredictable and the country is in its second wave, it is still uncertain on how winter sports are going to be conducted this season, if at all.
The cheerleading team cheers for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams and without a basketball season there won’t be too much to cheer for this winter.
With Cabrini moving all classes online after Thanksgiving break and the majority of students staying home until the start of spring semester, preparations for a winter season look different compared to last year.
Head coach Gabby Tinoco said that this year is very different than previous seasons. Due to the restrictions, the cheer team is limited on what they are allowed to do. “I’m hoping to use this time to perfect motions and come up with some new cheers for the season,” she said.
She said that she would be very sad if the cheer team was unable to have a season this year. If that happens, she said, “I would still try to have a Zoom call or a fun workout session online with the cheerleaders at least once a week.”
Tinoco hopes that the team is able to find time where they can meet safely so they can continue to make the team strong. Also, she wants them know that they have a good support system and a fun outlet to express themselves.
Alexis Capria, junior psychology major, was elected as one of the captains for the 2020-2021 season. One of her main goals in these unprecedented times is to still make sure that everyone on the team has time to bond and be involved as much as they can, regardless of a season, she said.
“I think it is important to have time together and to make practice as normal as possible so everyone, especially new members, have a feel of what it would actually be like to prepare for games,” she said. She expressed the value of creating a family and friendship with the members of the team.
While the team is conducting practices, Capria says that they normally do not consist of the whole team due to the limit of people they can have at a time. “I just want to make sure that everyone feels included and involved as a whole team even if we all cannot be there,” she said.
Personally, Capria has been working out on her own time to stay in shape. To prepare for this season and the next, she said that she needs to figure out new ways to fundraise virtually due the coronavirus, since their events were held in person.
A junior business management major, Natalie Wilson, is anticipating a winter season. Without everyone being on campus and having different schedules, she says that it is difficult. “We are still making the best out of our practices,” she said.
Cheerleading can be done socially distanced due to the spacing needed for motions and jumps. For stunting, there are four women in a very tight space that does not allow for social distancing. Currently, due to restrictions the team is not allowed to stunt. “It is somewhat frustrating because I really enjoy stunting and I wish there was a way we still could,” Wilson said.
Without stunting, Wilson says that the team still has a variety of cheers, dance sequences and jumps that will still allow for a great season despite the circumstances.
The cheerleading team conducted tryouts on Nov. 1, and now has a new team for the 2020-2021 season. Head coach Tinoco said that it was a great success and that the team welcomed six new girls to their squad.
The team practices two days a week either in the gym or in the studio at the Dixon Center. They have to wear a mask and stay six feet apart. At practice, they condition and prepare new dances and cheers to bring to the team to showcase for whenever they are able to perform again.