Cheer adapts to mascot change, encourages crowd to do the same


Matea Rowe-Bond

Seniors Kristina Callahan, and Lindsey Stone cheer with the rest of the cheerleaders during the football game on Oct. 22.

Riya Mahanta, Assistant News Editor

This season, the cheerleading team has modified many of their cheers due to the mascot change. 

The decision to retire the Tomahawk in late April left Algonquin without a mascot, a key factor in cheer. The cheerleaders, who recently competed in Regionals and scored a 74 to move onto States this weekend, have worked to adjust to the change.

“We had to change seven cheers,” senior captain Kristina Callahan said. “We have 15, but we only actually do around 10, so we basically had to change half of them.” 

Fortunately, they didn’t have to create any new cheers from scratch; they  merely modified their existing cheers.

“We didn’t have to change any of the motions, just some of the words,” sophomore Olivia Mullen said. “Some words we used to replace T-Hawks were ‘Algonquin,’ ‘defense’ and ‘offense’.”

According to Callahan, it wasn’t always easy re-wording the cheers.

“We had to feel what sounded good too because there were a bunch of different things we could’ve changed T-Hawks to, but some sounded better than others,” Callahan said.

Many people collaborated to help brainstorm ideas for the new cheers.

“The captains, our coach, and some of the girls from the cheer summer camp we ran helped to change the cheers,” senior captain Cate Morrissey said.

Morrisey said it didn’t take long for the team to learn the new cheers.

“I’d say it only took about two practices,” Morrissey said. “We learned them during our pre-season practices.”

According to senior captain Lindsey Stone, the harder part was not creating the cheers but adjusting to the new ones.

“The more difficult part was getting used to changing the cheers,” Stone said. “We [the captains] have been on the team for four years, so it was hard to remember not to say T-Hawks.”

Although the team refrains from using “T-Hawks,” sometimes the crowd does not.

“We try to encourage other people to stop saying the T-Hawks,” Stone said. “When the crowds start chanting T-Hawks, we aren’t allowed to cheer with them.”

Callahan thinks that the situation will improve with time and a new mascot.

“Over time, it [people continuing to use T-Hawks] will definitely change, but we [cheerleaders] have to be good examples and not say T-Hawk nor encourage the crowds to,” Callahan said. 

The captains believe that the cheers will be stronger once a new mascot has been decided.

“We can add entirely new cheers with the addition of a new mascot, rather than just rewording the ones we have currently,” Morrissey said. 

Although Algonquin currently does not have a mascot, cheerleaders continue to support their team and carry their Algonquin pride.

“Our sport somewhat revolves around school spirit at times, so it’s kind of hard not to have a mascot, but we adjusted and it turned out okay,” Morrissey said.