Faces of Friday Night: The Cheerleader
Madelyn Nelson has looked up to the girls on the Friday night sidelines since she was little.
She took up cheerleading in the eighth grade, originally joining the junior high squad as a way to bond with friends.
Now, in her second year on Fisher High School's squad, she gets to stand in the front row on the sidelines and enjoy her two loves — revving up the crowd and watching high school football.
"On Friday night when the lights come on, I always take a moment to look around me," the sophomore said. "You see the players getting ready for their big game, and the crowd just gets really pumped up."
During home games, Nelson and her teammates hold up banners for players to run through, and stand at attention during the national anthem. The girls then take their position on the track and lead the crowd in a couple of starting cheers. After that, they "get right into the game," she said.
As much as she enjoys watching football, Nelson says she would be too scared to actually play with the boys on the field.
"I'd definitely rather stick to the track. Those boys take a lot of hits, and I don't think I could handle that," she said. "Being on the sidelines is great because you really get to interact with the crowd."
When the crowd doesn't participate, she tries her best to remain positive. But that can be a tall order when the Bunnies are losing.
"When you're in the middle of a game and you're losing pretty badly and the crowd is kind of sitting there really upset, it's our job to make them happy again," Nelson said. "I think trying to be positive all the time will really benefit you."