Cheer’s secret weapon

Eileen Castle

Enrique Curiel takes a stand and bends the stereotypical image of what a cheerleader at Downey High is. It has been 7 years since Downey had a male cheerleader, and Curiel is the perfect candidate to break that trend.

“I can’t even remember how long it’s been, but I can recall in 1985 there were 10 male cheerleaders on the squad,” said Mrs. Dolores Flores.

In the beginning it was hard for Curiel because of the negative feed back from friends and close relatives by being a male in cheer the pressure was on so he needed to prove his passion for this sport and commitment to succeed in it.

“As long as you’re doing something you love it doesn’t matter what other people think and all the negative people start to get over it after a while,” Curiel said.

Not only is he breaking boundaries or normality, but he also is becoming a valuable part of the squad.

“Enrique is great asset to the team because he will do whatever is asked of him and always gives 100%, also,” said Varsity cheerleader Hope Gettler. “He got a backhand spring all by himself.”

It took him five months to get a backhand spring perfected; he worked day and night extremely hard on it because he was aware that he would need it in competition. Downey High’s first competition is Dec. 13th at Ayala High, and Curiel believes he is ready to show-off his new tricks and flips.

Many believe that there are major differences between male and female cheerleaders, but there are only slight ones. Curiel is only lacking pom-poms and skirt, which is a good thing.