Photo by Hunter Franklin ’19 | Xavier spirit line performs during halftime Friday Sept. 23 at Phoenix College.
By Tyler Conrad ’17
Despite being from a different school, Xavier’s cheer team said that they enjoy boosting Brophy school spirit and providing support for the football players on Friday nights.
“I think that us going to the games and being there and sitting in front of the crowds and leading them and cheering on the football team means a lot to them,” said Co-Captain Tatum Webb ’18
Webb and fellow captain Peri Burnett ’17 have been cheering on the Broncos for the past three years, and said that they have formed relationships with the team over time.
“It’s good that they know they have a foundation behind them,” Burnett said.
Burnett said that being friends with the football players has benefitted both the football and cheer programs.
“This year we’ve made an effort to make a stronger bond with them and think it has influenced their team and our team,” she said.
Webb agreed that the friendships make it easier to cheer for the team.
“I think it’s good to have a good friendship foundation with someone that you’re cheering on,” she said.
Nate Moorman ’17 said that the cheer team’s affect on the crowd is a morale boost for football players.
“They get the crowd pumped up which gets us hyped to play,” he said.
Both cheerleaders said that the football players are very appreciative of their loyalty.
“Even if they lose, we’re always there cheering them on,” Webb said.
Moorman said that the team tries to express their appreciation after the games.
“We go up to them after the game and thank them for bringing the energy,” he said.
In addition to the football team, the cheer team also maintains communication with Brophy Student Council.
“We have to work with them so we know that the cheers we’re going to do, they’re going to say back with us,” Webb said.
Student Council member Bryson Leander ’17 said the two groups work together to pump up the crowd.
“It’s all about finding a balance so that both the students and cheerleaders can get as excited and invested as possible in the game through the music,” he said.
Leander also said the captains talk to Student Council about the music at the games so they can coordinate their dances accordingly, including the halftime show.
“They just have the song queued up and we just press play,” he said.
The captains said this relationship between cheer and Student Council is symbolic of the relationship between Brophy and Xavier.
“We rep the Xavier side of it, and they rep the Brophy side of it, so it’s nice to come together,” Webb said.
Once football season is over, the team begins to focus on their own intense competitions.
“Competition season is jam packed, going going going, every weekend,” Burnett said.
The girls said that football season can be seen as an opportunity to practice performing in front of a large crowd before competitions.
“Football season is such great practice to get in front of a crowd before competition season,” Burnett said.
As captains, both Burnett and Webb said that they try to use constructive criticism to better the team before competitions.
“If you’re yelling at someone constantly and that’s not how they work, that’s not going to be good for them,” Burnett said.
Webb said the captain holds responsibilities both during and outside of practice.
“Being a captain is being a role model and setting a good foundation for the team, and leading them in positive ways,” she said. “If someone has a problem, they come to us. We are the mediator between the team and the coach.”