By Lizzie Kipp / Staff writer

People who attend sporting events can’t help but also watch the cheerleaders and dance team do their thing.

It can be fun to watch them soar through the air and wonder, “Are people supposed to be that flexible?” before they yell “woo-hoo” and do a cool flip.

But, a lot of effort goes into those cool flips and “woo-hoos.”

Photos by Lee Wellman

There’s a popular quote from Matshoma Dhliwayo that reads, “A star does not compete with the other stars around it – it just shines.”

Jahim Ross, a HutchCC sophomore, is a perfect example of this.

Ross is a nursing major and a co-captain of the Blue Dragons’ spirit squad. He is becoming known for his contagious enthusiasm during performances and practices alike.

“Jahim is an all-around asset to our team,” said Blue Dragons’ spirit squad coach, Sami Bell. “He’s not only skilled but a great captain and leader as well.”

As a captain, Ross has many responsibilities regarding the team.

“I work very closely with the other captains and coach Sami in order to ensure team communication and good mental health,” Ross said. “Sometimes, I feel like a cheer dad.”

The sport can be incredibly stressful and demanding, but this cheer dad makes it clear that there is no place he would rather be. Ross said he emphasizes that the team’s attitude and energy are what keep him motivated throughout the season.

“It has been one hectic, busy, and physically demanding year,” Ross said. “But everyone is just embracing each other through it. The team’s family-like energy, on and off the mat, is something I can’t help but appreciate.”

Ross began his cheer career when he was a kid. He holds a lot of love for the sport, as it is a big part of what made him who he is today.

“He drives the team and encourages them,” Bell said. “And he will always do whatever he can to enhance the game day experience and get people excited.”

It can be really hard to stay positive and motivated, especially at this point during the semester. But Ross said he keeps his head held high and is determined to help the team reach its goals, especially when the team travels to Dayton Beach, Florida in April for the NCA and NDA  College Nationals

“It doesn’t take much to get pumped up about the things you love,” Ross said. “A backflip, a couple of flashy stunts, and a little projection of my love for the sport are all it takes, baby.”

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