Four Faces: Peterson believes cheering will always be part of her life

Photo+courtesy+of+Wesley+Works.

Photo courtesy of Wesley Works.

Maximus McGrath, Deputy Sports Editor

This previously ran in our December 2021 print issue.

Senior Paige Peterson began cheerleading when she was just five years old, and her journey has led her to become a key flyer on the Emmaus cheerleading team.

Peterson made the varsity team her freshman year, just one of four cheerleaders in the class of 2022 to do so. Since then, she has embraced supporting her fellow Hornets as they compete in their athletic competitions. Peterson came up through different programs and cheering for different teams prior to high school, but the enjoyment never faded.

Cheering embodies school spirit and community throughout the school, as well as among the cheerleaders themselves. Regardless of seniority, the Emmaus cheerleading team welcomes and encourages people who may be hesitant at first. Peterson embraced this leadership role presented to her as a senior.

“I have taken some of the freshmen under my wing and helped them learn what’s going on,” Peterson said. “I helped teach a lot of them chants and cheers for football and basketball games.”

Fellow senior cheerleader Hanna Tigar has been alongside Peterson through her four years as a Hornet cheerleader. Peterson’s leadership is admired and never goes unnoticed by her teammates.

“She is a great role model for all the other cheerleaders and she helps everyone,” Tigar said.

For cheerleaders, cheering is much more than supporting their classmates on the field, it is also supporting their own teammates. Throughout her four years with the Emmaus cheerleading team, Peterson has appreciated the friendships and connections with her teammates and coaches that have been presented only because of cheerleading.

“I’ve created such good bonds and friendships since I have started,” Peterson said. “So many good experiences have come out of it. Coach Lori and Coach Cayleigh, they have been with us since middle school and then they moved up to be the high school coaches as well. So, they have been with us forever.”

Sophomore year brought new and exciting events for Peterson and the Emmaus cheerleading team. They qualified and competed at the state competition in Hershey, Pennsylvania where they finished 9th in the large division. This result broke Emmaus cheerleading history as the most successful season in history.

Many memories have compiled over Peterson’s four years of cheering at Emmaus, but her senior year was the most unforgettable. The excitement surrounding sporting events this year was much different than the last, as both fans and students were allowed to attend the games once again. Along with spectators returning, Emmaus’ time under the Friday night lights extended deep into the postseason.

“It’s so much fun getting as far as we have with the football season: making it to the district final, we have been able to keep it all going,” Peterson said.

Peterson’s passion for her school and her classmates never goes unnoticed. Tigar and all other teammates admire the energy she brings to the team.

“She always looks so happy,” Tigar said. “She has gained so much confidence in herself.”

As her senior season’s end is in sight, Peterson hopes that this will not be the last time she will be cheering. She is not sure what her future holds, but cheering will always be a part of her life.

“I’ve been doing it for so long and it’s almost a part of my identity in a way,” Peterson said.