Pom Poms in hands, girls start to cheer

Junior Jamie Timsit cheers  on the Grove at DPMHS.  Timsit along with junior Valeria Sanchez made the BCCHS cheerleading team this spring and will be cheering next fall.
Julia Torres
Junior Jamie Timsit cheers on the Grove at DPMHS. Timsit along with junior Valeria Sanchez made the BCCHS cheerleading team this spring and will be cheering next fall.

Wiping the sweat from her brow, cheerleader Valeria Sanchez smiles after proudly demonstrating her newest cheer.

“I’m glad I made the decision to try out for the cheerleading squad,” sophomore Sanchez said. “I really feel like I’m part of the team and the coaches are fair. I also don’t feel so fat because I am exercising rather than staying lazy at home.”

For the first time since  Birmingham Community Charter High School (BCCHS) and Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) have shared an athletics program, DPMHS students are able to try out for the BCCHS cheerleading team.

Since DPMHS was founded in 2009, its students had the privilege to try out and be part of sports teams at BCCHS due to a contract between the two schools. Unfortunately, cheerleading wasn’t one of the options. Knowing this, Sanchez and junior Jaime Timsit felt unfairly treated because they were denied the right to be on the cheerleading squad.

Campus aid Madgeolyn Wooten, known as Ms. Madge, talked to Birmingham officials about including DPMHS students on the BCCHS cheer squad.

“I thought it was unfair,” Wooten said. “As long as they qualify and are able to make a team, they should be allowed to try out.”

Wooten sent two letters, one for Sanchez and one for Timsit, to Sarah Van Daalen Wetters, the cheer coach, questioning why both students were not able to try out for the cheer team.

“Maybe it wasn’t communicated clearly over at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School,” Cheer Coach Wetters said. “Since I took over, I’ve been trying to build a bigger team because bigger teams tend to win competitions so maybe that’s why I got more girls, including Valeria and Jamie from DPMHS.”

Both Sanchez and Timsit are on the varsity cheer team and practice after school with the rest of the cheer squad at BCCHS. They are looking forward to the start of the football season in the new school year because that’s when they will start cheering.

“They’re a delight to have on the team,” Wetters said. “They both have great initiative, they’re cooperative, outgoing, friendly and they make a lot of effort. These are definitely skills cheerleaders must have.”