It all started by simply showing up to a cheer competition. Xavier Prep Junior, Ausencio "Chino" Lara says, "I was like, this looks really fun, I’ll just do it."
"He reached out to me via email and said I would really like to be a part of this and I said alright talk to our athletic director and got the thumbs up and Chino has decided to be our first male cheerleader in the history of Xavier cheer," his coach says.
Chino is a linebacker and running back for the Saints, but he says competitive cheer is a whole new ball game. "It’s different. I’m a football player, we’re known for catching balls and trying not to get tackled. Now I’m trying to like save somebody else’s life."
Senior cheerleader Kelly Schaelan says, "It’s really awesome that he came and joined our team because it just adds like extra strength. Actually also it’s great because he realizes that it’s hard work and it’s not just cheerleading, it’s a sport."
And Chino agrees, "It’s not just cheering, we’re doing more stuff than just saying words and the team name. Although it’s very hard on your body, it’s fun."
Chino is already thinking one step ahead. "I was thinking since doing another sport it would open another opportunity to get a scholarship in something," And he has a game plan, "The whole plan is to try and get more people to do it because when you’re the only dude on the cheer team so just trying to get more people so I’m not the only one."