Flying High with Cheer


The 2022-2023 Sierra Vista High School Junior Varsity and Varsity cheerleading teams.

Hannah Reed, staff reporter

From cheering at sports games, to “amping up” school spirit at pep rallies and assemblies, the Sierra Vista High School cheerleading team enjoys continuous success throughout each school year. The cheerleaders always work diligently to represent Sierra Vista High School and maintain an uplifting environment for its community; the team always carries their school spirit and pride.

The Sierra Vista High School cheerleading team is led by co-coaches Danielle Fiore and Lonna Hughes, who is currently out on maternity leave. Fiore believes that, “the most important aspect of cheer is solidarity and teamwork.” The Sierra Vista High School cheerleading team teaches cheerleaders teamwork and collaboration skills. Cheerleaders learn to trust one another and they build familial bonds that last a lifetime. For all those hoping to join the team, coach Fiore advises, “cheer is very time consuming and requires extreme dedication and commitment. My suggestion to anyone that is interested in trying out [is to] have the understanding that cheer is a year long commitment. We start with try-outs in the spring, move on to enrichment and camps in the summer, then right into football season with school wide activities like pep rallies and assemblies and then conclude with basketball [at the] end of winter.” 

As the first semester of the 2022-2023 school year comes to a close, the cheerleading team reflects on their work produced for the Sierra Vista High School student body. Just a few events featuring the team include the “Welcome Back to School” pep rallies, football season, and the Homecoming week pep rallies. But, by popular agreement, the team’s best performance occurred at the Homecoming assembly. The team included stunt elements, dance, music, tumbling, and classic mountain lion cheers. Fiore shares, “both Junior and Varsity teams collaborated and worked extremely hard at the choreography and stunt sequences.”

When it comes to putting performances together, choreography processes vary as Fiore elaborates, “sometimes we have cheerleaders create the routine or we use previous years and tweak to our needs. Lately, we have been adding some trendy Tik Tok dances to the routines as well. We have even used outside companies to help create. As far as the cheers, we use traditional Vista cheers that go back as far as 20 years. We also create new ones each year as well. I like to encourage the girls to always bring their ideas to the table.” Credit for choreographing the Homecoming assembly performance goes out to Varsity cheerleader, Melanie Radan, grade 11, a two year member of the Sierra Vista High School cheerleading team. Last year, Radan held the title of Junior Varsity captain, and, this year, she holds the responsibility of choreographing dance routines for assemblies. After so much time, preparation, and planning, Radan believes that the joint Junior Varsity and Varsity teams, “did very good and everything went smoothly.”

Without the help of her partner Hughes, Fiore states her cheerleading duties seem never-ending, “I am always working on something whether it is billing, dealing with vendors, [or] designing our next tee shirt or sweatshirt. Right now I am working on fundraising and community service projects for the team.” As explained by Junior Varsity “front spot,” Morgan Kirby, grade nine, cheerleaders work every, “Monday for tumbling from 2-3 p.m., Tuesday for practice from 1:30-3:30 p.m., and Wednesday for practice from 1:30-4 p.m.” Currently, the team is using their time after school to prepare for the upcoming holiday assembly on December 9 and basketball season.