First Male Cheerleader Helps Lead The Competition Cheer Team to a 3rd Place Win At State

2021 was a big year for the Lakeland Christian School competition cheer team.

“The Vikings had advanced to the state semifinals every season since 2013, but couldn’t advance to the final round until Friday” wrote the Lakeland Ledger article on January 2, 2021. “It was a new day for LCS. Not only did the Vikings reach the final round, but their final-round score of 79.40 was higher than their semifinal performance.”

The team finished IN THIRD PLACE in the small non-tumbling division of the FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association) state competition.

But that wasn’t the only new and exciting development for this team; this was also the first year the LCS competitive cheer team had a little more “muscle” thanks to Caleb MacDonald, a male junior student at LCS.

In an interview with Caleb on Wednesday, February 3rd (post FHSAA Cheer Competition), he shares his story of joining the team:

Q: First male cheerleader for LCS. Was it a good experience? 

A: It was a lot better than I thought it would be. I never thought I would end up being a cheerleader. But, when the opportunity came, I just decided to do it. It wasn’t bad. It was a lot more fun than I expected it to be.

Q: Did Mrs. Norris (Cheerleading Head Coach) have to do a lot of convincing to get you to join the team?

A: Yeah, at first. But once I was in, I felt like, “I can’t back out now. So… I might as well go ALL IN.”

Q: When you first joined the team, what was the biggest challenge?

A: Learning all the technique stuff and how to move on the right counts.

Q: Do you have “good rhythm?”

A: No, not really. But they don’t make me dance. It’s just learning how to do the stunts at the right timing.

Q: What was the experience like for you as your team prepared for competition? Were you nervous to go compete?

A: I didn’t know what to expect. But I wasn’t nervous. I felt like, “whatever happens, happens. I just need to do MY thing and know what I’M supposed to do.” Because we’d practiced a lot and I knew we could do it. But since I’d never done this before… I tried to just go in with an open mind, and have confidence that we could do it.

Q: You are also on the football team. How would you compare going into a football game versus this experience of going into a cheer competition?

Trisha MacDonald (mom), Caleb MacDonald & Scott MacDonald (dad) – 2019 Football Season

A: It’s a very similar feeling. You go in knowing you need to do your part – the best you can do – for the good of the team. 

Q: Do you get the same adrenaline rush?

A: Not quite. When you’re going onto the field with the football team, you’re getting hyped up, bumping heads and knocking around with everyone. But, for both, it feels good when you do it right. From your first hit on the football field, it feels like, “alright, it’s GO TIME.” But you get to take breaks in between. You don’t really take a breath in cheer till you’re all done.

Q: Did you feel welcome on the team?

A: At first it was a little weird being the only guy, but there are several girls that are in my grade that I knew. So it worked out fine.

Q: When you were at the FHSAA Competitive Cheerleading State Championship waiting to hear the results of how you guys did, were you (and the team) nervous?

A: Everyone’s nervous, but we actually knew we did really good. Far better than we thought we were going to do! So we were excited to get third, which was really good for us.

Q: So, will you continue to be a part of the competitive cheer team?

A: As far as I know, I am. Doing competitive stuff during the winter season. And I think we could do better next year than we did this year.

Q: Are you interested in pursuing a cheer scholarship option?

A: Yes! That’s one of the ways Mrs. Norris convinced me to join the team. 

Q: What else can you tell us about your overall experience?

A: I went in thinking it was going to be a breeze. It’s a lot harder than you think it is. There’s a lot of work that gets put into it (behind the scenes) that no one knows about. I wasn’t giving it as much credit as a “sport” as I do now. It was a lot more tiring than I thought it would be. Doing things over and over again would get so tiring on my arms. 

Q: And your sister is cheering too?

A: She’s an alternate this season, but hopefully next year we can do stuff together. 

Q: So, your overall experience with everything was…?

A: It was a lot better than I expected. I would have never thought myself to do “cheer,” but it was cooler than I thought it would be. And I definitely plan to do it again next season.