First Ladies Are First


Heather Cornwell

The First Ladies of Damascus regain their county title.

Emalie Jaramillo, Entertainment Editor

   Invitational, County, Regional and State competitions are a big deal. Some may think that cheerleaders just stand on the sidelines and jump around, wear cute uniforms and do chants. A look behind the scenes reveals so much more.

   As the 2023 season continues, the First Ladies of Damascus competed at Blair High School on Oct. 29 for the Division I county championship and won first place. If they make the top three at the Regional Championship on Nov. 5  at Harford Community College, they will move on to the State Championship.

   During the fall season, the varsity squad is required to cheer for at least two games, in addition to cheering at football games on Friday nights. In order to support all teams, the girls are split into multiple smaller groups who then cheer at additional games because they often take place at the same time. 

   Cheerleaders make many sacrifices to be able to compete at the end of the season. Injuries are more common than most think–twisted ankles, dislocated knee caps, broken fingers and sprained wrists abound.

The Varsity Cheer Team awaits their turn at this year’s MCPS Division I Championship. (Tino Pham)


   Although cheer is very important to these athletes, school is more important. If the athletes, including cheerleaders, don’t maintain a 3.0 GPA, they are not eligible to participate in their sport. 

   We have a junior varsity squad and a varsity squad. The JV squad cheers with varsity during the third quarter of every home football game. But that’s not all that JV does. They practice for two hours right after school and paint the banner for the Saturday home games.

Toward the end of the JV season in October, JV has a competition called JV Expo that usually takes place at Col. Zadok Magruder High School.