As a number of different groups have been forced to take place online because of COVID-19, college cheerleading has been no exception. The Palomar cheer squad has become a virtual team for the time being.
It is almost impossible to imagine how any sport could take place virtually, but the Comet cheerleaders have figured it out. However, COVID-19 has been a waiting game with no concrete answers as to when things might start to look normal again.
Tryouts for the squad took place in May where contestants submitted videos of themselves all performing the same dances, cheer jumps and tumbling moves.
The coaches posted the tryout material on the PalomarCheerleading YouTube page, so the contestants could learn and practice the material before the video submission deadline on May 15.
The entire cheer squad consists of 38 cheerleaders – 34 women and four men – who have been patiently waiting to meet one another in person since they made the team more than six months ago.
The squad practices via Zoom from 8 to 10 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Their virtual practices consist of a 20-minute warm-up followed by practicing their cheers and chants. It ends with a YouTube workout selected and screenshared by the coach.
With the squad being disappointed about missing out on this year’s football season, the members are crossing their fingers that they will be able to make it to the National Cheerleading Association College Nationals cheer competition held in Daytona Beach, Fla. next April.
“Last year we were actually supposed to go to Daytona because we got a bronze ribbon for it from NCA, but we couldn’t go because of COVID, so hopefully if this all clears out, we can go to Daytona this year,” said Juliette Ortiz, a second year Palomar cheerleader.
A few of the cheerleaders were fortunate enough to get to take part in the Palomar food drive. They handed out food to families in need, while wearing masks and following social distancing guidelines.
The squad has become active and is sharing its school spirit on social media. Check out the team’s Instagram and TikTok at palomarcollegecheer.