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Freshman on Varsity Cheer

By Jasmine Balderas


Freshman Janelle Balderas at varsity cheer practice getting her stunts ready for comp season.

The Rialto High School varsity cheer team is currently getting prepared for their competition season which will possibly start in November. The team practices Tuesdays and Wednesdays after school till 6:30, and Saturdays from 8-12.


Tryouts for the competition team were during the summer in July. Balderas was nervous at first but went into her tryout with confidence. Balderas says, “When I found out I made varsity I felt very accomplished because I put in a lot of time and effort to get where I’m at.” Balderas is one of the three freshmen on varsity.


Being a freshman student-athlete comes with many challenges. Balderas shares that being a student-athlete can be stressful because it’s her first year of high school and she wants to focus on having good grades while still staying involved with school activities. Balderas says, “Sometimes it can get overwhelming because I end practice at 6:30, get home around 6:45-7 depending on if we're picking up food, and by the time I eat and shower I don’t have much time to rest because I have to finish homework.”


Balderas also shares that being the only freshman flyer can be stressful at times. Balderas says, “Sometimes I wonder if I’m on the right pace because the other flyers are older and some have more experience with the harder skills we do.” But being a freshman also has its advantages. Balderas shares that her coaches recognize her for keeping up with the older girls and for accomplishing several skills. The coaches and her teammates make her feel proud of herself and motivate her to keep working hard.


Sometimes teammates on a varsity team tend to not acknowledge a freshman. This wasn’t the case for Balderas. Balderas says, “I actually felt very welcomed to the team and made friendships quickly. A lot of them help me out and give me advice when it comes to stunting and there’s always someone encouraging me when I’m flying.” The varsity cheer teams spend about nine hours a week together so they are bound to create close friendships.


Although Balderas has made many friendships on the team, she says her closest friendship is with Yolany Ortega. Balderas says, “We got close during cheer camp when we got chosen to do partner stunting. Since we were both flyers she was able to help me out. During the session, we kept laughing and making jokes and it was a lot of fun.” Having close friendships makes going to practice more fun and something to look forward to.


Overall being a part of a varsity team, especially as a freshman can teach very valuable lessons. This shapes them to be an even better teammate as the years go on. They will learn and grow at a young age so by the time they are a senior they will be ready to offer advice to the new freshman.


Balderas says she loves everything about being on the team but is still working on a balance between school, cheer, and her social life. Her love for cheers continues to grow and she hopes to continue doing it in the following years.


10 comments

10 comentarios


This is very impressive! Looking back, I wish that I put this much effort into doing activities out of school. All of her hard work will pay off as these extracurriculars will definitely help her with college applications. To be a freshman and be this committed is something that not many can do!

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Wow! Having to put many hours into practices while also maintaining school work is a very difficult thing to do. Especially as a freshman who just began Highschool. This shows how determined she is and that she is able to handle many things at once. Congrats to Janelle for making varsity cheer!

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As a freshman who made varsity, Janelle should be extremely proud of herself. Based off the article it seems like her role as flyer is very rigorous especially with the late practices. I just hope she continues to pull-through and not let the work-load of juggling cheer and school affect her in any way.

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When I was a freshman on Varsity softball it was one of my greatest accomplishments, so congrats to Janelle! Being a student athlete shows dedication to your sport. If you are willing to put in the time to manage school and a sport that is an amazing accomplishment on its own. Being a freshman on Varsity can usually be intimidating, but reading that Janelle's teammates were welcoming is great to see. Being a freshman on Varsity is usually the best years of any high school sport.

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Ashley Tapia
Ashley Tapia
09 nov 2023

Congrats to Janelle! This shows how determined and motivated she is to be on varsity. im so happy for her.

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