New addition to the cheer squad

New addition to the cheer squad

Reaghan Wharff, Staff Reporter

Fourteen-year-old freshman Zekkiah Hire is breaking down gender roles by becoming a De Soto male cheerleader.

Hire started cheering at 13 and in eighth grade at Lexington Trails Middle School.

“I saw them and I thought that my personality meshed well with theirs, and it’s a lot of fun,” Hire said.

Hire is the only male cheerleader at De Soto High School but has made a lasting impression on the cheer girls.

“Everyone loves him, and it’s great to have him on the team,” sophomore Taylor Escobar said.

For only being a second-year cheerleader, he received an All-America cheer award for partner stunting. Hire was also nominated for try outs for the All-America cheer team, which is a huge deal in the cheer world.

“We were all so happy and excited for him,” said Escobar.

Though many people support Hire, he believes that there are a few small negative things.

“People don’t view cheerleading as a strong thing, and people don’t understand the work that goes into putting together the routines we perform or trying out new stunts and doing them until we finally get it,” Hire said.

The team also had to get new uniforms because we have not had a male cheerleader in recent years. New uniforms are usually great, but so is the cost. Cheer uniforms are not cheap.

Many people support Hire and what he’s doing.

“He is showing people that cheerleading doesn’t have to be all girls,” Escobar said.

Not much for the team has changed with the additions of a male cheerleader, other than Hire being another new member.

“Coming up with routines is all the same, Zekkiah just modifies them,” cheer coach Kiersten Heier said.

Regardless to any changes to the team, Hire and the rest of the team are excited for a great new season.