Crofton High School’s First Male Cheerleader

James Newman, Advice Columnist

Freshman Noel Andres-Donovan is making history as Crofton High School’s first male cheerleader, inviting inclusivity and diversity on sports teams.

Andres-Donovan said that “being the first male cheerleader comes with some challenges and weight.  Most of my difficulties have nothing to do with the sport, but more with easily standing out while on the sidelines because I am the only one wearing pants and I get compared to other members of the squad.”

He added that he is proud of his role in opening doors for other students who might be interested in joining, explaining that he can overlook challenges and “just keep pushing in hopes that by me doing this, I open the doors for other males and Hispanics that come after me, not only in Cheer but other school organizations as well.” 

Andres-Donovan explained how he deals with those difficulties by reminding himself that anyone can be a cheerleader.

“I tell myself and remind others that cheerleading is a sport that welcomes all races, sexes, and gender identity.  We are a team and speak with one voice and it does not matter to me if anyone questions my choice to cheer for my school and our team’s.”

“The pros of being the only male cheerleader is the same as my challenges and that is standing out.  I don’t mind the attention because this is just a small way that my culture and males are being well represented, and I hope it inspires others and makes them proud, just as it does to me.” 

Fellow cheerleader. Sophomore Sophia Nwanse commended Andres-Donovan for his contributions to the Cheer Squad,

“Noel is a great cheerleader, I think at first it was a weird experience for him being the only nonfemale on the team, but once he got comfortable in the cheer environment, he really came through for the team.” She continued, “I think his presence itself is a contribution to the team. Him showing up to practice everyday and his willingness to learn is so beneficial to the team”. 

Sophomore varsity co-captain Zoe Stratton said she agreed.

“As a cheerleader, Noel has blossomed. As I’ve watched him through the season he has grown to become so confident on the mat. Everything he does, he does it with spirit and his energy lights up the mat.”

She also added, “Noel’s passion for the sport is admirable. He constantly comes up with new ideas to bring to the table for sidelines. He’s also very driven and determined to improve on everything he does in the routine which is outstanding.”

Andres-Donovan shared some words for those who are thinking about joining the cheer squad:

“Cheerleading is all about spreading our Cardinal spirit far and wide. It is all about representing the student body and the Cardinal family.  It doesn’t matter who you are, how you identify or what you look like.  All are welcome to be cheerleaders, and I am honored and proud to be one!”