Stomp and Shake It: Warrior Cheerleaders Take On the Court


Taylor So

Squad Spirit on Fire: Juniors Charity Dent and Willow Gibbs, sophomore Kyndall Weathers, Coach Jennifer Page, and Maximus The Warrior flash a pose to celebrate their North Atlanta pride.

As winter intensifies, sporting events move indoors, even in the mildly temperate state of Georgia. Once filled with student banter, lively percussion, and cheerful spirit, the Henderson Stadium is empty as football season ends. During the break in sports, athletes train, and the North Atlanta cheerleaders step off the field and into the court, springing into preparation for their next season: basketball.

North Atlanta gym’s loud buzzers and chants echo across the court. Cheerleaders stomp and clap in perfect synchronization, showcasing a powerful presence. Behind the scenes, hours of practicing cheers and polishing dances ensure a flawless performance. Learning advanced cheer skills and the ins and outs of basketball play, such as the difference between offense and defense, contributes to their expertise. “We have front-row seats to every move during the game,” said cheer captain Sasha Stanley. “Knowing where the ball is on the court helps us know what cheer is best to call and is crucial to a cohesive team.”

Aside from coordinating cheers, there’s one thing cheerleaders know best: school spirit. On the court, phrases like “Go Warriors!”, “Let’s get pumped up!” and “Sink it!” encourage players and hype up the crowd. Freshman Chloe Ashford emphasizes the consistency of their spirit, regardless of the setting. “Being on a basketball court doesn’t change the fact that we dominate,” said Ashford. “We still have the privilege of cheering on our favorite team.”

However, there are crucial differences between field and court cheer, with proximity being the main contrast. On the court, cheerleaders stand closer together, the student section behind them and the game directly in front. In addition, the opposing cheer team is found beside the NAHS cheer squad rather than across the court, making basketball games more intimate than football games. Cheer captain Layla Reeves believes the lively dynamic allows cheerleaders to bond. “Standing near the rival cheer team allows our energies to bounce off each other and create a thrilling game time environment,” said Reeves.

North Atlanta cheerleaders have long been known for their unity and poise, whether on turf or court, never failing to liven up a crowd and cheer on our Warriors. Thanks to dedicated cheerleaders, games maintain a spiritful ambiance, and North Atlanta remains a proud Dub nation.