Pep it up

Senior is the first male cheerleader on the team in many years


Grace Elder

Senior Grayson Meece is all smiles on his senior night. Meece is the only boy on the team, and he is also one of five seniors.

As the Cards JV cheer team begins to hit the mat, senior Grayson Meece can feel the anxiety filling his body as he sees all eyes on him. But as soon as the crowd starts cheering with them, Meece can feel all worries fading away, replaced with a new type of excitement, one that can be found by trying something new. 

“I love cheering on the crowd and live for the applause. You (know), as a theater kid, that’s what we live off of,” Meece said. “And seeing the whole audience doing cheers with us, it makes us know that we sort of have an impact on them. Like we actually matter, you know.”

Although this may be a typical year for some on the JV cheer team, Meece decided to make  this one special. He started his first year of cheer as the only boy to join since Kory Kosegi was on the team in 2013.

As the fall cheer season began, Meece realized that many of his close friends would be joining the cheer team and that he wanted to try it for his senior year. He didn’t want to waste the opportunity to do something he’d always been curious about.

“I don’t wanna look back and regret not trying out,” Meece said. 

So, when tryouts rolled around, many emotions filled the team. For Meece, stress was the main emotion. With this year being Meece’s first, his skill base was much smaller than the other veteran cheerleaders that had been doing this for many years. 

But with guidance from head cheer coach Nicky Givens, Meece would have nothing to worry about and he was able to improve throughout the season. 

Givens and the rest of the team were filled with a great sense of enthusiasm for Meece. As he was the first male to join in many years, they knew he would bring new energy and skills to the team that they all were looking forward to.

“Oh my gosh, we were super excited because we always get guys that say ‘Hey I think I’m gonna do it,’ and then they don’t,” Givens said. “So when Grayson said he was, I was like ‘Oh yea we have to have him, no matter what.’” 

Although Meece has had to put in a lot of work to get up to speed skillswise, there’s something Meece didn’t need to be taught that many find hard to compete with, school spirit. According to Givens, Meece is the known morale booster on the team with his grand smile and amazing cheers that boost the spirit of the student section.

Meece runs through the cardinal tunnel on Aug. 19 during the first pep session of the year. His teammates cheered excitedly around him. (Darcy Leber)

In his first season of cheering, Meece has brought a brand new energy to the team, and many love what he has done.

“He brings so much spirit to our team and he’s super fun,” senior cheer captain Kelly Schuette said. “He makes JV look really good.”

With Meece joining the team, the cheer team hopes to draw in more boys that were previously hesitant to join.

According to Givens, males bring a different type of skill set to the team that she wishes she saw more of. With more upper body strength, male stunting could help the team. 

“I think most guys are afraid of being too feminine,” Meece said. “ We’re here to boost morale, not for any other agenda.”

So, as the fall cheer season wraps up, Givens hopes to see more male cheerleaders in the future and hopes to see Meece try out for the winter cheer team and continue to spread spirit wherever he goes.

“With Grayson, he is always smiling, and he is an amazing kid,” Givens said. “We’re happy that he’s there.”