“So Much More Entertaining and Fun” – DeForest Seniors Chase Titles in Soccer and an Unexpected Second Sport

Published 10/21/2023, 12:50 PM EDT

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Being an athlete at a competitive level is very impressive, given the compromises and sacrifices that come with the sport. Constant training, working on your skills, keeping your diet in check, and recovering from injuries are some of the most basic requirements. However, throw the life of an athlete in a high school setting, and you must add school, homework, events, and relationships to your list of priorities. So it is beyond incredible that some seniors from the soccer team in DeForest have picked up a new sport to their routine.

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Owen Kramar, Ian Fries, and Aidan Harsh from the DeForest soccer team are pulling double duty as they cheer their team on from the sidelines. Not only have they contributed to a 12-1-5 soccer season, but they are also getting quite a workout as cheerleaders.

From Soccer to Cheerleading

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The work that cheerleaders put into their routine is rather undervalued. While everyone sees the team cheer at games, no one comprehends what goes on behind the scenes to make the routines look great. “They’re not going to the competitions and seeing us hit round-offs, back handsprings, back tucks, and throwing girls 15 feet into the air. They don’t see that part of it,” says Kramar. The students were hired by Raegan Feldman so they could compete in co-ed competitions during the winter.

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During his time in high school, Feldman noticed that seniors from the football team were part of the cheer squad. Even at that level, he understood the value they brought to the team. “They made practice so much more entertaining and fun. I got to try co-ed stunting for the first time, which I really ended up falling in love with my junior year,” he said.

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While the boys took some time to adapt, they started realizing the skill it takes to cheer. They also understood the dangers of performing moves correctly. While soccer requires players to have lower body strength primarily, cheerleading needs a fair amount of upper body strength. So, they began hitting the gym to make it easier for themselves when they lift cheerleaders.

How the Boys Have Evolved

Once the boys started training seriously for the cheer team, they saw the results. For instance, Fries added 20 pounds of muscle to his 135-pound frame. This transformation even made him fall in love with the gym. Fries and friends were motivated for their first time competing. They worked tirelessly for the Wisconsin Association of Cheerleaders/Pom Coaches state meet last season. In fact, they have now added a new senior called Brooks Wilson, who will help produce more stunts to fill out the scoresheet.

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The boys have come a long way on two fronts. Firstly, they have overcome the stigma of being a male cheerleader while contributing to the team immensely. They have also managed to keep active with two different sports simultaneously. They practiced both soccer and cheerleading practically every day. Now that the soccer season has begun, the boys prioritize the sport over cheerleading. However, they always make their way back to help the cheer squad.

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Written by:

Kenneth Soares

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One take at a time

Kenneth Soares is a WWE writer EssentiallySports with a penchant for all things sports. He has previously worked in world news, with a focus on US events and geopolitical stories. Kenneth's favorite superstars include Edge, Rey Mysterio and AEW star MJF.
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Edited by:

Arnima Shukla

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