A Sense Of Commitment

EL cheerleaders prepare for the fall season ahead.


The East Lansing varsity cheer on Sept. 24 at an away game in DeWitt, cheer will accompany the football team as well as engage with the visiting student section.

Shows girl lifting arms above head
Misaela Morris (9) mimic the lift that will be practiced minutes later. All moves that require someone lifted of the ground take planning to unsure the safety of both the person on the ground and the person being lifted. (Photo by Gretchen Rojewski)
Burton talks to a group
Coach Burton helps walk the cheer squad through new stunts to be performed in future games.

 With the football season starting up again, sports have remerged in a fresh light. There has been an increase in participation among underclassmen, and many students are taking up sports that they haven’t tried before. 

One sport that many have been aware of since middle school but that remains underrepresented in the larger sports world is cheerleading. 

Isabelle Souza (11) is on the varsity team. This is her first year cheerleading with East Lansing, but she has years of experience at her former high school in Kansas City.

“I definitely think competitive cheer is a sport, you’re throwing people in the air, and that’s really hard physically,” Souza said. 

 Additionally, like many sports teams, cheer has both a JV and varsity team. Alexis Sudall (11), who has been cheering for East Lansing since middle school is on the varsity team. 

“I prefer being on varsity because we get to do a lot more things like the fight song,” said Sudall about the differences in the teams.  “Because JV doesn’t get to do that. Like we get to do more than JV but we also have more experience on varsity.” 

The East Lansing cheer team holds practices three days a week, in which conditioning, endurance, learning and rehearsing stunts are included in the practices.

“I think it is because we do a lot of working out, and a lot of things that people don’t see. So I don’t think it’s easy,” said Sudall

But here at East Lansing with so many successful students both academically and in athletics, within the last few years lost seasons and activities have not been out of the ordinary. But, with the new wave of underclassmen, many participating in school events for the first time, sports are re-born with the increase of support. 

This year’s team is led by Klaudia Burton, who has five years of experience leading cheer with two being at East Lansing. Burton, who was formerly a high school science teacher and recently was hired to the new position of Director of Equity and Social Justice at ELHS, commits time to each and every athlete.  

“She recently was promoted to a new position at this school and she still takes time out of her day to coach us,” Souza said. “I know [it] can be really taxing and I’m so appreciative of her and everything she does for us.”