One back handspring and tackle at a time

On Sept. 27, senior Patrick Smith performs a hurdler stunt at the football game vs. Huntington Beach, to encourage the audience to cheer for the Vikings. “I can’t choose either one,” Smith said, “Football is my life; cheer is happiness.”

Mizhelle Cortes, Writer/ Business Team

One activity is just not enough for senior Patrick Smith’s school days as they are filled with training for competitive football games and rehearsing routines with the cheer team.

Playing football since he was a freshman, Smith decided it was time for a new experience. His decision to join the cheer team came from the annual Powder Puff game. He was amazed at the stunts the cheerleaders choreographed and the basics of cheerleading he was introduced to.

“I began to watch the cheer girls practice and run through their routines and I just imagined myself doing it because it seemed really fun, which it really is,” Smith said.

“I began to watch the cheer girls practice and run through their routines and I just imagined myself doing it because it seemed really fun, which it really is,” Smith said.

In addition to the classes of a high school student, this athlete makes sure to balance his time for his academic and personal life. Because practice and school take out a huge chunk of his day, he saves his free time for the weekend. Whether it is hanging out with his family and friends or playing with his dogs, he savors relaxing moments.

Senior Jesenia Contreras, cheerleader and best friend of Smith’s, admires his passion for both sports and also acts as a support for Smith.

“What I love about him is that he has an actual passion for the sport; he doesn’t just want to learn things to look cool, he actually takes time to learn techniques and makes goals to better himself,” Contreras said. “Cheer, especially competition, has attained his full interest and he has shown great dedication and love for it.

The athlete’s tight schedule requires him to cheer up to five hours and, most of the time; he still has to train for football on the same days. With the support of his coaches and teammates, he manages to commit his time whether it’s playing on the field or cheering for a competition.

Senior Anthony Garcia, a football player, noticed his effort on the field and his optimistic attitude.

“He works really hard and tries his best at everything he does,” Garcia said. “He doesn’t care what people think or say. It doesn’t matter to me if he’s in cheer and football. He’s one of my best friends so if he’s happy, I’m happy, and I’m fine with it.”

Smith’s enthusiasm and his support from his teammates have allowed him to expand his joy and interest for football and cheer. His willingness to try and his devotion will allow him pursue his further interest in cheering for a college or for an all-star team.

“My cheer career has only started in high school and it certainly won’t end here,” Smith said.

Although practice for football and cheer takes patience, it contributes to Smith’s effort and determination to succeed academically and athletically.