Last summer Skyler gave up dance and gymnastics to join a local cheer team. With dance and gymnastics she never traveled anywhere. She just had practice once a week for each. And at the end of the school year she had a big dance recital. But with cheer she is on a traveling team.
Up until this weekend we haven’t traveled very far. She’s performed in a couple of parades and at a competition at the local mall. And everything’s been pretty calm. No crazy moms trying to break other cheerleaders legs. No girl fights over spirit sticks. I’m new to this whole cheer world. And I was starting to think that all those things I see in the movies and the news about cheerleading are all old wives tales.
But then this weekend we had our first major competition. Jamfest in Peoria, IL. And all that changed.
No there wasn’t any fighting. Or cursing. Or unsportsmanlike conduct. Thank goodness. But cheer competitions can still be intense and a tiny bit crazy without all that violence.
This is Breast Cancer Awareness month and Jamfest was doing a big push to raise money for the cause. The second we walked in the door to the Peoria Civic Center we were met by a group of women (and even a few men) in bright pink wigs and hot pink socks.
I had no idea there were so many men that were willing to file away their man cards for a cheer competition. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. In fact I think it’s totally awesome.
Don’t get me wrong. There were many, many men who were chilling in their seats, listening to the college football games on their radios or checking the stats on their mobiles. But there were also a ton of guys showing their team spirit. What an amazing group of dads!
The best costume ever was Captain Cheer Time. He was this guy in a red jumpsuit looking thing (which may have actually just been sweats and a t-shirt…I was pretty far away from him). His shirt said, “Captain Cheer Time” across the front and he was sporting a red wig and cape. A cape, people. It was classic.
There was another dad showing his support of his girl with his shaved head covered in red and blue stars painted on his scalp. So he was not only a good Cheer Dad, but also very patriotic.
And the Green Bay Elite Cheer team combined dad’s love of football with their love for their daughters with cheer jerseys. They looked like football jerseys with the Green Bay Elite logo on the front. And on the back they said things like “Kev, Gabby & CC’s Dad” or “Courtney’s Dad.” I love it! One dad took it even a little farther with a cheesehead hat that was painted purple and had gold fringe hanging down (their team colors). He even co-or-di-nated (said in your best John Witherspoon impersonation) his outfit with a fly pair of purple camo pants. It totally rocked!
Lee missed the mall competition and Jamfest because for some reason all cheer competitions are on the same weekend as soccer tournaments. [People really should check my calendar before they schedule these events.] But I’m already getting some costume ideas for the next competition that he can make. Those after Halloween specials are calling our name.