Who says you need an entire squad to boost school spirit? In Messalonskee High School in Maine, football matches aren’t any less exciting even if there is only one cheerleader getting the crowd all rallied up and psyched for the game.
Kaitlyn Berthiaume is the school’s lone cheerleader.
While she says she always gets nervous before each game, the gorgeous cheerleader doesn’t let her solo status affect how she cheers for the team. Even the coaching staff outnumbers her, but Annie Dobos and Maila Couture are always around to help her with the routines.
“It’s unheard of to have one cheerleader and for her to stick with it is awesome,” Dobos shared.
Kaitlyn said she sometimes feels intimidated but there’s no denying that cheering by herself has its perks. And we’re talking more than just having the spotlight all to herself, too. She has even formed friendships with the rival team’s cheering squad. In fact, they often invite her to cheer with them!
Instead of ridiculing and making fun of her, the cheerleaders from the other team always support her, saying they think it’s cool how she’s the only cheerleader in her school.
Kaitlyn’s parents are extremely proud and supportive of her, too. They make sure to be present at each game, complete with balloons and banners for their favorite cheerleader. Her mom has even memorized all the cheers! At first, Kaitlyn’s parents were a bit apprehensive, thinking something was wrong but seeing her at every game made them realize just how incredible their daughter is.
It may be an odd setup for a school to have only one cheerleader on the squad but the fact that Kaitlyn doesn’t let that faze her makes her parents admire her even more for her confidence and grace.
“I couldn’t do it, I don’t think my wife could do it. It’s very, very emotional… and very, very inspiring,” Kaitlyn’s dad enthused.
Parents and teachers are always vocal about how amazed they are by Kaitlyn’s resilience and high spirits. After all, how many high school students can muster up the courage to get up and cheer by themselves at each game?
Because she cheers solo, her cheerleading routines are free of lifts and other stunts that one typically witnesses from watching squads perform, whether at sports games or cheering competitions. What her routines lack, her fellow students, their parents, and teachers readily make up for in support and encouragement: they readily cheer with her, uplift her, and praise her for her hard work.
“It’s inspired all the kids in our school to get behind her and cheer louder.”
Kaitlyn sometimes wishes she had a whole team of cheerleaders to share the experience with. She imagines how much fun it would be to have teammates to wear cute uniforms with and take photos with.
After cheering solo for four years, Kaitlyn finally threw in her pompoms and ended her cheerleading career. Her schoolmates made sure to give her the curtain call she deserved – with the school band playing for her and everyone applauding her, cheering for her, and thanking her for all those years she cheered, unabashed.
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Source: Inside Edition