Bringing spirit to the sidelines

Lia Miner, Entertainment Editor

Although no spectators are allowed in the stadium, the Bellefonte Cheer team and Marching Band will still be seen on the sidelines of Friday night football. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many things are changing when it comes to sports.

Submitted photo

The cheerleaders will only be performing at home games this season, as there are only three. Over the summer, they practiced one day a week in order to prepare for the upcoming season. However, COVID-19 guidelines have caused some changes and adjustments to how things will go this year. Junior Sophie Reiter,  a member of the Cheer Squad, finds it strange to cheer to the empty bleachers and follow all of the guidelines set forth this year. 

 “Wearing masks makes things difficult because a huge part of cheer is using facial expressions and smiling and the mask covers that. Everything is super different and hard to figure out but I’m just glad we can have a season,” Sophie said.

So far, the Cheer Squad is not letting the pandemic hold them back, as they develop creative ways to meet their season’s goals. They held a tailgate for the seniors and they performed for parents who attended. They also organized a car wash as a fundraiser.

“Some of our goals for the season are to make sure we support all the athletic teams and promote a positive and encouraging  attitude within our school.  We also are looking forward to Districts and UCA regionals,” Coach Skip Headings said. 

Besides cheerleading, the Marching Band will also still be attending football games and finding ways to reach the community virtually.

Mr. Rebarchak

Band Director Mr. Caleb Rebarchak shares the findings of a national study that measured how aerosol particles spread through the air, particularly when playing musical instruments.

“Those results, along with recommendations at the national level from music organizations, helped to determine what we are doing at a district level to keep students as safe as possible in any music ensemble or class this year,” Mr. Rebarchak said. 

 He also explained how during August, students attended a socially-distanced band camp to prepare for this year. The following week they also recorded their first virtual performance which was then uploaded to the Bellefonte Performing Arts YouTube Channel. The three band front squads have to change their routines to socially distance, while the instrumentalists and drumline are not doing any marching formations due to the fact that it would involve marching through air particles coming out of other instruments. The marching band also all have masks with slits in order to stay covered while also being able to play their instruments. 

Junior Davis Folnsbee will miss traveling to away games this year.

“This year has really put into perspective just how much of Marching Band is about the experiences and the friendships with each other than the actual playing. I miss singing the Big Time Rush theme song on the bus rides, seeing which school had the best mozzarella sticks, and the energy of the crowd. I believe that even though this isn’t quite ideal, it is better than not performing at all. I’m glad that we’re doing anything in the first place,” Davis said.  

Despite COVID 19 restrictions, those on the sidelines of the football field seem to be adapting to the new changes and making the best of it. 

“The reality of the current pandemic is that all of us have been given a lemon, but it’s what you do with that lemon that makes the difference. Proverbially, we’re trying to make the best lemonade that we can given the reality of things, keeping health and safety of the students and staff as a top priority,” Mr. Rebarchak said.