North Rowan alumni cheerleaders: ‘We’ve still got it!’
The excitement on the track at homecoming Friday night was palpable — and contagious.
Some 28 NRHS alumni joined the 2018 cheerleading squad to cheer for the homecoming game against Albemarle. The Cavaliers won, 40-7. That was something to cheer about. But so was the gathering of ladies in gold and green that spanned graduation years from 1968 to 2018.
“We cheered together,” said Aleashia Brandon ’95, standing beside Jessica Barringer. “We were the only two brave enough from our class to come!”
The alumni squad was well represented from women who cheered from the past three seasons. Linda Stoner ’73, who serves as a school facilitator, was also on the track. Denise Beaver of Greensboro, a member of the class of 1968, purchased one of the alumni T-shirts, which classmates Charlotte Cherry and Cynthia Bailey saved for her.
The cheerleading reunion was the result of a fundraiser held by the 2018 squad to raise money for new uniforms. It’s not an inexpensive proposition, as each one costs $250, according to Alexis Greer, cheer adviser. The women paid $25 for a T-shirt and the opportunity to cheer, or $15 for just the T-shirt. Some women contributed more, Alexis said. The squad is hosting several events to raise $6,000 before the 2019 season, she added. They’ve raised about $1,500 so far, not counting the total raised from this event.
Alexis said that this inaugural effort for the alumni cheerleaders would definitely continue.
“Look at the fun they’re having here,” she said, from her bleacher spot several rows up in the stands. “We reached out to these alumni because they know what it means to fund new uniforms.”
“We had practice yesterday,” said Artrice Feamster ’11, the school’s assistant cheer coach. “We had a good time. They still got it! Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader.”
But the effort wasn’t without sacrifice.
“I’m already worn out!” Roneisha Smith ’10 said before kick-off.
The decision to hold the fundraiser during homecoming was a good one, as the current squad’s ranks were severely depleted because of cheerleaders who were part of the homecoming court. Six young women out of 18 remained in uniform for the evening. But that didn’t stop members like Anna Everhart, a sophomore who represented FCA on the homecoming court, from cheering in her formalwear after halftime.
The alumni squad members cheered just for the first half of the game. And that was fine with them.
“I am tired!” Shakila Brown ’15 said during the third quarter. “But it’s fun.”
And she had some advice for current North classmates.
“Do not rush through high school,” she said. “As soon as you graduate, time flies.”
How right she is.
Shakila thinks the alumni cheer fundraiser is an excellent idea.
“This is a better way,” she said. “We also sold doughnuts, and people get tired of that.”
She added, “As long as they have this fundraiser, alumni will come back. This is our way of giving back.”
That’s something to cheer about, too.
Here’s the complete list of the women who cheered. Go Cavs!
Storm Andrade, Jessica Barringer, Denise Beaver, Natalie Benfield, Kim Billingsley, Rochelle Bowman, Aleashia Brandon, Laura Braun, Shakila Brown, Kristie Cauble, Brittany Dunham, Kristen Estepp, Artrice Feamster, Latayia Gladden, Janiah D. Hall, Katlin Hannah, Daisy Lemke, Allison Lingle, Brittany Pegram, Destiny Robinson, Afrikah Salaam, Roneisha Smith, Keara Starkes, Dr. Linda K. Stoner, Taylor Walker, Keely White, Indiah Witherspoon and Moya Wolfe.