Hayden Duenwald crosses the bridge on the first day of school with his fellow cheerleaders. (Lauren Spakowski)
Hayden Duenwald crosses the bridge on the first day of school with his fellow cheerleaders.

Lauren Spakowski

Flipping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Freshman Hayden Duenwald becomes Liberty’s only male cheerleader

September 30, 2019

If you were at the assembly on the first day of school, there’s a good chance you saw freshman Hayden Duenwald. A member of the freshman cheerleading team, Duenwald’s feat of stunts caused an uproar of encouragement from the crowd. However, his gymnastic ability wasn’t the only thing that caught the attention of his fellow students. Duenwald is currently the only male cheerleader at Liberty. 

While this may be Duenwald’s first year doing cheer, he discovered his passion for gymnastics about seven years ago. Gymnastics allowed him to put himself out there and do what he enjoys, such as stunts like flipping, which aren’t a part of other mainstream sports.

Duenwald is proud to be considered our lone male cheerleader, but thinks the idea of having more boys on the team would help show that cheerleading isn’t just for girls.

“I think it would be cool to have more male cheerleaders to show that at Liberty, people aren’t afraid to do what they like,” Duenwald said.

Ms. McMillen, the freshman cheer coach, has been coaching cheer for five years. She loves building relationships with her cheerleaders that last throughout high school. She hopes that Duenwald’s involvement will help more boys who have been considering cheering, find the courage to do so.

“More boys should join cheer because it’s a great way to get involved in an athletic, positive activity that supports Liberty,” Mrs. McMillen said. “Athletes that put in consistent and hard work make great routines, guys or girls.”

Even cheerleaders who haven’t worked with Duenwald think that boys are a great addition to cheerleading teams.

“Male cheerleaders’ strength could definitely help our team, like allowing us to pull off better stunts in our routines,” sophomore JV cheerleader Dayney Eaton said.

As a student body, it’s crucial that we encourage each other, including all of our cheerleaders who work so hard to motivate our teams and inspire school spirit.

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