Cheering up the Mayo Community!



During the second year after returning, the Mayo Cheer Team had an awesome season cheering on the Mayo Football Team at almost every game of the season. Everything went well, especially after thinking there was not going to be a season at all! Despite COVID-19, the cold weather, and the shortened, abnormal football season, the cheer team made the best of it by generating school spirit for the football players and the fans.

The coach for the Mayo Cheer Team is Stephanie Schmidt, a Mayo Cheer alumna. The three team captains for the 2020 season were Vivian Chase (senior), Adelay Markham (junior), and Grace Schembri (junior). This season, the cheer team consisted of 22 girls ranging from 9th-12th grade. 

Due to not nearly having as many fans as previous years, the cheerleaders were not able to get the crowd as riled up as last year. They still cheered their hearts out to encourage the boys out on the field, those on the sidelines, the fans in the stands, as well as the fans cheering from home, watching the games on the live streams. 


Having no student section made cheering a bit difficult for the team because “most people that came to the games this season were family of the football players, so they were more focused on the game and less engaged in the [cheers],” said sophomore Mayo Varsity Cheerleader Shantae Davis. The girls still did many crowd participation chants during timeouts to get the crowd as engaged and excited as possible.

As the season has ended, the coach has some time to reflect on how well the girls did: “The cheerleaders bring extra energy and spirit to the games. The crowd participation cheers and signs they put up all add to the overall vibe of [the usual] Friday night lights.” 

It is a welcome sight and sound to have the cheerleaders at the games after years of being absent. “We have brought back that extra school spirit that was missing for so many years with painting windows, decorating cars, performing at games, and bringing back the pep fest performance with football players,” said coach, Stephanie Schmidt.

Besides everything going on, the Cheer Team “is a consistent source of encouragement and motivation,” and “our team brings so much more spirit to the games,” Shantae Davis said.

The Mayo Cheer Team has already come such a long way considering they just started last fall. Adding a cheer team to Mayo High School was not only beneficial to the football team but also for the entire Mayo community to add more school spirit for everything. The Mayo Cheer Team Alumna coach, Stephanie Schmidt, said, “I have had nothing but positive feedback since bringing back cheerleading last year.”

The team’s presence is definitely appreciated by the football players. Michael Mankaka, a varsity team member commented that, “I think the Mayo Cheer Team, and the rest of the football team can agree that they impact us in a good way especially this season because we didn’t have very many fans.” 

“Any advantages [for getting excited and pumped up] that we can get from our fans, our players or our sidelines with getting hyped when we’re out playing, we’ll take it, and the cheerleaders definitely help get us get there,” said Mankaka. 

If you are interested in joining the 2021 Mayo Cheer season, follow @mayocheerteam on Instagram for updates about tryouts or reach out to one of the captains.