Athlete of the Week: Giovanni Rodriguez

The seniors taking their cheer picture.

Katie Cortez

The seniors taking their cheer picture.

Tati Strickland, Reporter

Our third Athlete of the Week spends his time cheering on Granada’s football team on the sideline, performing under the lights, and spreading Granada pride to his fellow matadors.

Giovanni Rodriguez is a senior and is part of Granada’s Varsity Cheer Team.

Rodriguez joined the team this year because so many of his friends were on the team and thought that he would be a perfect fit.

“My friends Isabella Martinez and Eliana Bantolino influenced me the most to try out because they are a part of the team. Once they heard the idea of me wanting to try out, I had to do it”

Sports have been important and impactful to Rodriguez, he spent a majority of his life in karate, and thought that because of his skill he built in karate, he knew that cheer would be a new challenge that he could overcome.

“When I was younger I did karate for a long time which was similar in a way to cheer. It involves hours and hours of work of practicing different forms or motion, working on kicks and also developing good habits. I wanted to be part of a team again, so I thought I should try out for cheer because the parts I enjoyed the most in karate have a relation with cheer.”

All members of the cheer team put in so much time to perfect amazing performances each and every week. They spend hours practicing their routines as well as working on their team bonds in order to represent Granada high.

Every practice we are always making the most out of them. No matter if we are learning chants, a new dance or a new stunt routine. If needed, our practice will be extended if our coaches think we need to put in more work. For certain performances such as our homecoming rally performance, we would meet outside of school to keep practicing,” said Rodriguez.

Having so many members on the team can sometimes be challenging to make sure everyone is performing their best.

“Everyone needs to always be putting their effort into practice. we all need to be determined and focused to make sure everything looks perfect, not just good,” Rodriguez said about what makes a team so successful.

A cheerleader is more than just person with pom poms. “I think a cheerleader is a person who has a great amount of dedication and determination for what they are doing. They show their athleticism through sharp motions and jumps, stunting, tumbling and dancing. not only do they get the crowd going but they also show respect to others,” said Rodriguez.

Each and every cheerleader has their own set of skills that make them a crucial asset to the team. “I think I am a pretty good back spot and I have good jumps.”

With so many fun and different things that the cheerleaders get to participate in, it seems almost impossible to choose. “My favorite part is when we are stunting and trying out new stunts, and I enjoy halftime performances, sideline and rallies.”

Cheer is important to every high school and the cheerleaders take pride in what they are able to do each week under the lights.

“Cheering is a big dedication. There is so much more work that goes into it that I did not realize. Learning all the chants that we do on the sideline was one of the hardest. Making sure my group goes on the right counts when we are stunting, and being a good back base.”

Giovanni Rodriguez has had a great experience thus far on the cheer team, he has learned more about himself and grown into a better teammate, friend, and person.