Junior Kellen Newman holds a teammate on his shoulders during a practice. Photo by Lauren Hough.
KOBE MOSLEY | PUBLISHER MANAGEMENT | firstname.lastname@example.org
When you create the image of a cheerleader in your head, what usually comes to mind? Most people visualize a “white female who is small in stature but feminine; adheres to Western notions of beauty; has long, often blond hair that manages not to interfere with her athleticism…”
From the outside looking in, it may seem that only women can be cheerleaders. Being a man in sports comes with known sexist and homophobic stereotypes. Despite the kind that may be thrown their way, three male cheerleaders at Butler show that sports are for everyone.
Nate Corrales, Kellen Newman and Noah Lipscomb are all members of Butler’s co-ed team, each with unique stories about how they joined the team. Corrales, an applied technology business senior, is entering her third season cheering for the Bulldogs. He was invited by his teammate Mattie Neely to come to an open gym during his sophomore year.
“I didn’t really think anything of it [at first],” Corrales said. “We have a mutual friend … and I went to watch his joy. I thought it was so cool. I was like, ‘He’s cool, but he’s also kind of a brute.’
For Newman and Lipscomb, this is their first season. Newman, a junior entrepreneurship and innovation major, said he always wanted to pursue joy.
“I felt like there was no better time than college to finally just go for my dream,” Newman said. “So I tried as a junior, and now I’m here, and I’m in love with it. It’s such a thrill. It’s such a drive; it’s the competitive nature that I missed. But it’s like competing with yourself.”
Lipscomb is the youngest of the three, a first year of elementary education. Like Corrales, he was recruited by someone in the team, only that someone was a coach who happened to work at his high school.
“Cole Bonewit, he’s the assistant coach here, and he also works at my [high] school,” Lipscomb said. “He knew I was a wrestler … and he thought I was physically able to try, so I went down and gave it a shot. The tryouts [were] the first time I ever clapped. I think I showed [them] something that they like it, so they asked me to come back, and I’ve been back ever since.”
Lipscomb said it’s common for athletes from other sports to be good at cheerleading. Newman, who in high school was a three-sport athlete in football, track and lacrosse, shared the same sentiment.
“[Cheer] is a bunch of little things that add up perfectly,” Newman said. “And I think that playing other sports, it is very different, but at the same time, everyone plays in the same [thing]. If you have the mind, you will succeed.”
Senior Nate Corrales is in his third season on the Butler cheer squad. Photo by Lauren Hough.
Corrales doesn’t have an athletic background like the others, but he credits the time he took from school as what helped him ease into the sport.
“It was really a big change for me,” Corrales said. “I was an artistic kid growing up. I would say before college, during my gap year, I learned to be detail-oriented and how things take a long time to become great. You have to worry about the little details… that’s how you improve, and that’s how you keep pushing.”
The grind of a cheerleader is real. Continuous work goes on behind the scenes in practices, and everything is business. But as all three agree: game days make it all worth it.
“Game days are absolutely the best,” Corrales said. “I think during practice, it’s very commercial. It’s ‘stop stunts, let’s progress.’ But when it comes to game day, everyone’s happy face comes out. We’re just out to have a good time.”
Lipscomb’s first game-day experience came recently at Butler’s football game against St. Thomas on September 3rd. He says seeing the role of cheerleading on this side of the field was eye-opening for him.
“I didn’t realize how big of a role the cheerleaders play in the overall morale of the game,” Lipscomb said. “It’s our job not only to stunt and throw people and catch and all that. It’s also to improve the morale of our fans so that our team has something to play for.”
One of the aforementioned stereotypes associated with being a male cheerleader is that if you cheer, you must be gay. Being covered as a monolith is something that not only male cheerleaders face every day, it’s what BIPOC – Black, Indigenous and People of Color – also do day in and day out. It’s something many people have seen highlighted with La’Darius Marshall in the popular Netflix original series “Cheer.”
Corrales, Newman and Lipscomb are all men of color. Although they have not faced any obstacles directly regarding their race or sexual orientation at Butler, they still recognize the work that needs to be done to educate others that the animation community is diverse.
Corrales, who identifies as heterosexual, admitted that when he tells people that he cheers, some are a little surprised.
“I’ve heard [people say] before that cheer is a great sport for men who are gay because they feel like they have a place where they strive and are comfortable,” Corrales said. “Yeah, I’m all for that. I also think that [cheer being a place for gay men only] is the entirety of co-ed cheer.”
Freshman Noah Lipscomb practices stunts with his teammates. Photo by Lauren Hough.
Lipscomb seconded that, saying some people didn’t take him seriously or believed he was just there to be around female cheerleaders.
“I got a few of these mild comments,” Lipscomb said. “I didn’t come here for any other reason but to pull these stunts… I’m not here just to hang out with you and chill. We can have fun and stuff without letting it get in the way of the task at hand, which is: I’m here for happiness. I’m not here for anything else.”
Newman, who identifies as gay, echoed the “I’m here to cheer” mentality and feels the team never made his sexual orientation a big deal.
“I never felt that [my sexual orientation was] something that mattered,” Newman said. “At the end of the day, it’s like, ‘Are you going to get that girl to the top of the stunt or nah?’ “Like, there’s no sense of black, white, gay, it doesn’t matter. It’s about, ‘Can you do your job?’
While men’s cheerleaders are slowly becoming more accepted and praised, it is still a laborious task. Cole Bonewit, Butler’s assistant cheerleading coach and the person who recruited Lipscomb to the team, is exhausting every possible outlet at his disposal when it comes to getting guys to come try out.
Traveling to speak at local high schools, recruiting students at his own school, posting about open gyms on social media, and emailing Butler fraternities are just a few of the methods he uses.
A cheerleader herself when she attended Ball State University, she understands some of the stereotypes Corrales, Newman and Lipscomb are facing now. He hopes that the work he is doing is slowly but surely making it easier for the next generation of cheerleaders.
“I think we’re going in the right direction,” Bonewit said. “I think there are a lot of stereotypes about cheerleaders and [male] cheerleaders, and it’s always been my goal to break those down. Ever since I started cheerleading in college, I’ve had those stereotypes from people. And even as a teacher [in Lawrence Township], working with high school students, I think you hear a lot more. So I’m always trying to break down those stereotypes and change the culture of cheerleading, change the culture for [men].” .
When thinking about what to say to someone interested in becoming a cheerleader, Lipscomb advises never to pass up a free opportunity.
“If you had told me even four months from now … that I would be in the position I am now, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Lipscomb said. “So I just believe, and this is something I’ve always lived by, [to] never close an open door. Always walk through it. Never turn down an opportunity to do something because you never know where it might lead.
You may not realize it at the moment, but the benefits of joy can help you navigate life in a unique and incredible way. Aside from the physical skills it takes to stunt, jump and tumble, being a cheerleader teaches you practical life skills like discipline, teamwork and goal setting, all while building confidence.
What’s the easiest sport?
Here is a list of easy sports that can be collected easily without material time or money investment: This may interest you : March Madness: Arkansas cheerleader catches foul ball as cheerleaders continue to save the day.
- Badminton. Hands down, one of the easiest and most rewarding sports to learn is Badminton. …
- Swimming. Swimming is a sport that can be learned at any age. …
- Cycling. …
- Table tennis. …
Which sport is the hardest? The boxing The Sweet Science. It is the sport that demands the most from the athletes who compete in it. It’s harder than football, harder than baseball, harder than basketball, harder than hockey or soccer or cycling or skiing or fishing or billiards or any other of the 60 sports we rated.
What is considered the easiest sport in the world?
Running â I think running is probably up there with the easiest sports to play. Remember that all you need is a pair of good running shoes and off you go. Read also : 2022 Arizona Cardinals Cheer Finalists. This form of sport has no rules unless one participates in track and field.
What NFL team has a male cheerleader?
The Los Angeles Rams made history three years ago with two gay male cheerleaders on their sidelines for Super Bowl LIII. This year, they will have five. Read also : Mom-to-be Alia Bhatt sings Brahmastra’s song Kesariya, husband Ranbir Kapoor becomes cheerleader – WATCH. Captains Quinton and Napoleon, who were new during the 2018 season, are back for Super Bowl LVI.
How many NFL teams have a cheerleading squad? National Football League Cheerleading or simply NFL Cheerleading, is a group of professional cheerleading organizations in the United States. 25 of the 32 NFL teams include a cheerleading squad in their franchise.
What football team has a male cheerleader?
The Los Angeles Rams made history when Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies became the first male cheerleaders on an NFL cheerleading team. In addition to Chris Crawford of the Panthers, Peron and Jinnies hope to bring their voices on behalf of the LGBTQIA community in the NFL world.