The Student News Site of West Delaware High School

Inklings

The Student News Site of West Delaware High School

Inklings

The Student News Site of West Delaware High School

Inklings

Something New

Keizel Rivera Lopez Joins Cheerleading
The+West+Delaware+cheerleaders+pose+for+a+group+photo.+%0A%0AFront+Row%3A+Cassidy+Hack%2C+Madelynn+Zehr%2C+Madison+Wieser%2C+Emily+Neiers%3B+Row+2%3A+Karlee+Wooten%2C+Keizel+Rivera+Lopez%2C+Natalie+Beilby%3B+Back+Row%3A+Jordan+Kaiser%2C+Aarebella+Haynes%2C+Jaidyn+Ronnebaum%2C+MaKenzie+Haan%2C+Kendra+Lux%2C+and+Natalie+Palmer.
The West Delaware cheerleaders pose for a group photo. Front Row: Cassidy Hack, Madelynn Zehr, Madison Wieser, Emily Neiers; Row 2: Karlee Wooten, Keizel Rivera Lopez, Natalie Beilby; Back Row: Jordan Kaiser, Aarebella Haynes, Jaidyn Ronnebaum, MaKenzie Haan, Kendra Lux, and Natalie Palmer.

Keizel Rivera Lopez isn’t afraid to try something new.

As a freshman, he tried out for the cheerleading squad, a predominantly female sport.

“It’s a change,” Rivera Lopez said about being the first male cheerleader at West Delaware since 2018. “You can tell people are not used to it.”

He sometimes has felt judged for being a cheerleader, instead of a football player; however, he has decided not to let this bother him.

Throughout the season, he could feel his mindset changing. Early on, Rivera Lopez was concerned about what other people thought, but now he doesn’t mind it because he feels people will always judge.

“If you judge, you judge,” Rivera Lopez said. “That’s you.”

Rivera Lopez has been able to do all the same skills as the girls on the squad.

“I think it’s pretty equal for everybody,” Rivera Lopez said.

However, there were things he couldn’t do.

“A lot of girls are a lot more flexible than I am, but again there are opportunities for everyone,” Rivera Lopez said.

On Oct. 27 during the playoff game, Keizel Rivera Lopez cheers to pump up the crowd. (Anna Sickels)

The cheering process was also harder than he expected.

“You have to learn like 90 cheers and have them all memorized so when the person calling cheers calls a cheer, you know what the movement and the words are,” Rivera Lopez said. “Because once you get moved up to the front row, you don’t have anyone to look at to know what the cheers are, so you really need to know what you are doing.”

He even called cheers once, but the cheerleaders were sitting down because it was raining.

“It could have been better because we couldn’t do the stomps or the actual motions,”  Rivera Lopez said. “We used our voices, but it was nice knowing that I got the chance to prove to myself that I could do this.”

Rivera Lopez’s favorite moment during the year was getting to be with the squad and doing things like going to Sunset Family Restaurant and going kayaking.

“We spent a lot of free time together, we talked a lot, and we made great friendships,” Rivera Lopez said.

Similarly, senior Madelynn Zehr thought that everyone bonded together as a team.

“I say we are pretty inclusive,” Zehr said. “We’ll take anybody just because we enjoy working with different people.”

Rivera Lopez recently tried out for wrestling cheerleading, and he got accepted. He talked about how it was a good opportunity to stretch out because the football and wrestling coaches aren’t the same person.

Rivera Lopez is excited to spend time with his new teammates and create new friendships.

“Trying something new my freshman year never hurts,” Rivera Lopez said.

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About the Contributor
Anna Sickels, Staff
Hi! My name is Anna Sickels, and I am a junior at West Delaware High School. I am involved in bowling, journalism, group/individual/all-state speech, soccer, and softball. When I am not in school, I enjoy reading, baking, being with my family, and going to Aunt Emmy’s. My favorite music artist is Taylor Swift, and my favorite color is blue. I have one cat named Kat.

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