“I am a cheerleader”: Edgar Navarrete (11)

“Who rocks the house? The Argos rock the house! And when the Argos rock the house, they rock it up and down, and all the way around, and up and down, and all the way around!”

Sound familiar? It’s none other than our cheerleaders cheering this catchy chant. But what’s this? A boy in the varsity cheer team? Yes, a boy– Edgar Navarrete (11) to be precise.

Edgar was first introduced to cheer during his 8th grade year at Walton Middle School by a friend named Esperanza Perez who insisted him to join. Esperanza “knew cheer was for Edgar because he was really out there and always happy.” At first he didn’t know what cheer was, but he later found a profound love for it and decided to continue it in high school. Since day one until now, he shares that his mom encourages him to grow as a cheerleader and “didn’t think twice about letting him join because she wanted him to be involved”.

In and out of school, Edgar is described as an extremely energetic and “positive person lifting up the atmosphere wherever he goes” says Marissa Ruelas (11), a close friend of his. However, he does have his downsides. As a boy in cheer, he is always faced with the same obstacle: being questioned on why he is in cheer because he is a boy. There were days when Edgar too asked himself the same question due to all the strange looks he would get when sporting his cheer uniform throughout campus.

This doubt haunted him when he struggled to balance cheer practices and games with homework, expressing this overwhelming feeling by saying “it’s crazy and stressful just thinking about what needs to be done.” However, because he has been facing this issue since freshman year, Edgar has grown to be himself and do what he’s passionate about rather than acknowledge what others have to say about him. Now he has the confidence to say “I am in cheer because I like it. It brings out who I really am and I wouldn’t change it for anything because without cheer I wouldn’t be so peppy or encouraging others with my positivity and making them feel better”.

Marissa also believes that without cheer, Edgar wouldn’t be the same person he is today. She has known Edgar for over 4 years and says “he is probably the strongest person she has ever known to leave unbothered by what others have to say about him regarding cheer”. At any chance she’d get, she would tell anyone who questions Edgar’s decision that he his in cheer because he loves doing it like “the way a football player loves football, Edgar loves cheer because it helped him showcase his personality and he’s able to display his characteristics as a leader and how passionate he is in cheer.”

Edgar hopes his involvement encourages others to join cheer, not just boys but girls as well. A lot of male Argos go to the meeting to try out for cheer but don’t join because they are afraid of what others will say about them. He wants to be “the person to show it’s okay to be a guy and in cheer, same goes for girls. Some of them are scared because they believe they aren’t good enough or won’t come out as the best”.

He overcame doubts of being a cheerleader because of the loving and supportive varsity team members. He knows they have his back. If anything were to happen, “they would protect me,” he shares. With this immense love from amazing people around him, Edgar’s confidence and passion for cheering grew, allowing him to fully embrace it and proudly say, “I am a cheerleader”.