Cheerleader Or Quarterback?

The Early Show: Tracy Smith finds young men chanting cheers from the sidelines. CBS/The Early Show

If your idea of a high school cheerleader is someone who is agile, mobile and female, then you haven't been to Portland, Ore., recently where The Early Show'sTracy Smith finds young men chanting cheers from the sidelines.

In most high schools, cheerleading is for girls and a few very brave, very secure guys.

At Lake Oswego, where the Lakers won the game Friday night 20-14 and are headed to the playoffs, boy cheerleaders will be there to cheer them every step of the way.

There are nine boys on the Lake Oswego cheerleading squad. They're not especially gifted, incredibly coordinated or all that pretty. They get the job done because, last year, no one else would.

Gwen Matthews, the cheering squad's coach, remembers, "We had trouble filling the stands. There was lots of apathy about the sports."

Last year, there were defections on the cheerleading squad, no one went to games and school spirit was a joke.

Matthews says, "There was an occasion where the cheerleaders were booed as they left the floor after a pep assembly."

After that, only two girls showed up for spring try-outs. So the school asked the boys to step up.

One cheerleader says, "We've tried to learn the dances that cheerleaders do and we've been pretty unsuccessful."

Now, these male cheerleaders are not the school misfits; every one is a student leader or an athlete, exactly the kind of kid who might usually be sneering from the sidelines. When the boys joined the squad, they set an example that has the school and the town buzzing.

This is not an entirely new concept, there have been some pretty famous people who were male cheerleaders, including the President George W Bush.

Another cheerleading boy sees the potential and says, "That could mean that we all might be the next President of the United States."


There is little doubt that the cheerleaders are having a positive effect. The stands are now full and the crowds are going wild.

And the male cheerleaders of Lake Oswego have learned that when it comes to going crazy and rooting for the home team, gender doesn't really seem to matter.
  • Robin Wood

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