Male cheerleaders: revving up the crowd

Linsay Bland

Linsay Bland

Cheerleaders are known for their high kicks, huge jumps and endless energy. But without certain critical members of the cheerleading team, the women might not be known as they are today.

These critical members are the men who stand behind the women cheerleaders. Male cheerleaders are responsible for chanting cheers into the megaphone and lifting their partners during stunts.

Junior pharmacy major Dustin Wagner is a first-year male cheerleader on the blue team.

He cheers at boys’ basketball games and football games. Wagner joined the squad after some cheerleaders approached him in the Union.

“They said if we came to one of their practices, they’d help my fraternity publicize a dance,” he said. “So I went and decided I’d like to try it. I like to try new things.”

Wagner and his teammates devote two hours of practice two days a week to cheerleading, despite academic and other extracurricular responsibilities.

During the practices, the cheerleaders learn new stunts, which Wagner said is the most challenging part of his job. The cheerleaders work on partner stunts that involve a boy and a girl, as well as group stunts that incorporate the whole team.

Despite the hours of hard work, Wagner said the job definitely has its perks.

“It’s nice having front-row seats to the basketball games,” he said.

Junior Chris Anderson, who is also on the blue team, agreed that one of the best perks of being a cheerleader is being able to watch the games from the sidelines.

“I also love the chance to meet new people,” he said.

Many people might wonder if the men on the cheerleading team face a lot of teasing from their peers for participating in a traditionally “girl” sport.

Anderson and Wagner said the teasing usually isn’t too bad.

“I usually don’t get teased,” Wagner said. “Most of the people I know respect what I do.”

Anderson has a bit of a different experience.

“My friends back home tease me sometimes,” he said. “But it’s part of the job.”

If you’d like to catch the guys in action, they’ll be showing off their skills with their partners at the halftime show at the basketball game on Jan. 20, here at SDSU.

#1.887633:2258987989.jpg:guycheerleader.jpg:Dustin Wagner, a junior pharmacy major, demonstrates some of the cheerleading moves he uses at athletic events.:Crystal Kewley