Sole male cheerleader changes team’s dynamic


Discard Montesino holds the base of the Big Red flag, to get fans excited for the game.

Under the Friday night lights, the football team is strapping on last minute gear, but on the sidelines, the cheer squad is firing up the crowd, but with a new addition: junior Dioscar Montesino.

Montesino had never done cheer prior to this season. He said that “before gymnastics, [he] was between dance [and gymnastics], and [he] was going back and [forth], but [he] was nine years old.” After seven years of dance and cheer, Montesino decided he “wanted to start a new experience.” This led him to look into cheering.

“I started cheering [when] I was 16 years old,” he said. However, the feat of making the team was even more unique, as the junior cheerleader was the only male on the team. He said that being the only male “is really different because [there are] 14 girls, and all they talk about most of the [time] is girly things,” he said.

Montesinos said that he is looking to do more than just cheer on the football team; he wants to make a difference in the sport. “I can’t make a difference [alone], but maybe two [male cheerleaders] would,” he said. Montesino expects to return and cheer for Hillsborough next year. “Cheer, to me, means leadership, dedication and friendship. These three things, to me, can bring a cheer squad to the top,” he said.

Senior teammate Ashley Evans said having a male cheerleader on the team allows the team to “do harder stunts” and at the same time “the dynamic is different; he brings a different attitude.” Just as Montesino, Evans said that she hopes “more guys join because he’s a lot of fun to have and [they] get a lot more challenges that [they] could have before [Montesino joined].”