A different kind of pompoms

Sophomore reflects on the differences within drill team and cheer


Story by Maddie Gerrald, staff writer

You can see them on the 50-yard-line, their silver sequins reflecting the harsh lights of the football stadium as they execute kicks and jump splits across the field. You see us on the sidelines– smiles on our faces, dirt on our hands as we lift girls into the air to join in on a student section chant.

Last year, as a first-year cheerleader, I noticed drill team and cheer being compared by my peers and even my friends who weren’t involved in the programs. They would say things like, “Drill team is better,” or “Aren’t y’all like the same thing as drill team?”


It’s now my second year as on the cheer team, and I still notice the same thing. It seems to be almost a rivalry to everyone, but that’s not how it is to the girls in cheer or drill team.

Both recognize the differences between the two and know that they can’t be compared.


Highsteppers, because they are dance based, are fluid in their movements. They are performers. The halftime shows that feature them are looked forward to by everyone in the crowd.

Though seen as an art, drill team is considered a sport as well. The program practices everyday last period and after school, and they travel to the away varsity football games to perform.  Also, the program practices long hours so they can participate in various competitions in the springtime.

Cheerleaders, on the other hand, are tight with their motions and we base our team around elite programs across the country, like the National Cheer Association or the Universal Cheer Association.

We lift girls high into the air in a basic stunt, allowing the flyer to showcase motions or rally on the crowd, or sometimes we perform more advanced stunts where the girls flip in the air.

A huge part of cheer is getting the crowd involved in the event they are attending. We have to be spirited enough to get everyone to want to yell along with us, as well as having a fun time ourselves, which isn’t hard.

Cheer and drill team while being so different, do in fact have some similarities.

Cheer and drill team’s main goal is to be leaders and represent our school. We are enthusiastic about the events, especially football games. Everyone in the school sees that, and it encourages them to get involved as well.

There’s no fair comparison between the two because of the differences, but the similarities we have bring us together in the best way possible.