Cheer’s muscle

The most exciting, yet confusing team on game day.

Cheer+Escort+Captain+Daniel+Lee+waves+a+Texas+Tigers+flag+in+front+of+the+crowd.+The+cheer+escorts+traveled+with+the+cheer+team+and+ran+flags+at+the+AT%26T+Stadium.

Photo by Jackson Haltom

Cheer Escort Captain Daniel Lee waves a Texas Tigers flag in front of the crowd. The cheer escorts traveled with the cheer team and ran flags at the AT&T Stadium.

Story by Blaise Larry-Cox, Staff Writer

The crowd cheers, the sirens exclaim, the cheerleaders flip and tumble as the Tigers score another touchdown. But there’s one group on the field not like the others: the cheer escorts, dressed in khaki shorts and white polo shirts, sticking out like a sore thumb.

Cheer escorts have been a staple at football games across the country for many years now, but many don’t know how they originated.

“In the ‘70s, we did not have [escorts], but Tyler had them,” Student Council sponsor Susan Waldrep said. “We were at an away game, and our bus got rocked. Mrs. Tullis was our cheer sponsor at the time, and she said, ‘If we had escorts they could protect us,’ and we laughed and laughed.”

The cheer escorts have a variety of jobs when assigned to the role. However, their main responsibility is to help the cheerleaders in any way they can.

“The cheer escorts go to every single football game with us. They help us load the poms, flags, signs and everything we need,” senior Ally Moore said. “They also help set up the tiger and the T for pregame.”

The cheer escorts are picked by the cheerleaders who, before the school year starts, vote on who they want on the ballot.

“I like to pick the people that have a lot of fun because they make our experience more fun and the people willing to help,” junior Nealy Kate Anderson said.

Cheer coach Courtney Waldrep has little decision, letting it be 100% student lead. This leads to a healthier environment on the team.

“The varsity cheerleaders nominate,” Courtney Waldrep said. “We usually come up with a list of about 30, we hand back the list of 30 and vote on them. They try to pick people that are in a variety of activities so that everyone isn’t taken out when a group is gone, whatever their extracurricular is.”

After being picked on the ballot, they have the choice of whether they accept the job or decline it.

“My brother had been an escort and talked about how much fun it was,” junior Mason Miller said. “I’d always seen him run the flags, and I just wanted to have that experience.”

The escorts are clad in white polo shirts and khaki pants. However, that hasn’t always been their attire. 

“When I took over cheer escorts, we had blazers that said THS,” Courtney Waldrep said. “They dressed in khaki pants, an orange tie and the blazer, but eventually we sized out of them and just replaced the uniform all together.” 

At home games, the student section adores and persistently eggs them on, but away games tell a different tale.

“You get a lot of boos and hate from [opponent sections],” senior Daniel Lee said. “But it feels good being the villain for once.”

In a historic moment for the escorts, women were welcomed to the team. 

“It’s super fun and exciting to get a different perspective of the field since we’re on it, and we get to help out more,” senior Annie Powell said.

The girls are all student council officers, and Courtney Waldrep introduced the idea to have them on the field.

“I’m honored that Mrs. Courtney picked us to do this,” senior Reagan Raney said. “It’s a super fun way to get on the field during a game.”

From running flags at halftime to helping the cheerleaders get water, the cheer escorts are an essential part of Texas High gameday.

“They make cheering so much more fun because of their energy,”  junior Jadyn Johnson said. “I’m so happy we have them.”