Places & Faces
SWLA Cheerleader Follows his Dream
3/1/2020 12:00:00 AM


Anyone with even a hint of interest in cheerleading has likely seen or at least heard of Netflix’s documentary series, Cheer. The popular show follows the Cheer Team at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas from practicing routines to the serious preparation for the National Championships. This small-town college has made a big name in the cheerleading world by winning the annual Daytona event title 14 times to date.

Christian Trahan, a former cheerleader from Lake Arthur High School, taught himself tumbling in his backyard as a child via YouTube. In school, he participated in other sports such as football, basketball, and baseball, but he says nothing excited him as much as tumbling. "When I found a sport to put my tumbling skills to use, I immediately fell in love with it.”

Trahan began his cheer career with Allstar Cheerleading in 2015. That same year, he and his team were in Dallas for a competition. It was there that he was first introduced to the Navarro Cheer Team. From that point on, Trahan set his sights on making it onto this prominent team. "By following the cheerleaders of Navarro ever since I started cheer, I became more familiar with how special this program was to their hearts and how high of a standard they were held to by the cheer world.”

Fast forward to May 2019. Trahan had tried out and made the Navarro College Cheer Team! "I tried out for Navarro because I knew I wanted to be a part of such a prestigious team, and I knew that I could learn more from the coaches and athletes there than I would anywhere else. When I found out I had made the Navarro Cheer Team I felt as if my life was surreal. My dream since I had started cheerleading was to compete at the highest level and be the best possible cheerleader I could be and making the Navarro Cheer Team was a big step into fulfilling that dream.”

Trahan is currently in his second semester with the team. He’s a general studies major with plans to pursue a medical degree at Louisiana State University after his undergraduate education. Trahan hopes to continue as a member of the Cheer Team. Tryouts for the fall semester take place in April. "I can honestly say that the Navarro Cheer Team is everything I dreamed of and more. I have already learned so much in such little time and I have grown so close to all my teammates. One of the best parts of being a Navarro Cheerleader is experiencing the love that you receive from what is now your family. Anyone on the team can tell you that it is not possible to endure training, schooling, and every-day life stresses without having the bond that we do with each other. There is one saying that we all use when non-cheerleaders ask us why we put ourselves through so much exhaustion and pain: ‘From the outside looking in you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out you can’t explain it.’ This saying conveys the indescribable passion we have for our sport, and how incredible it is to be a Navarro College Cheerleader.” 

Cheerleading Organizations Stress the Importance of Safety

by Angie Kay Dilmore

March is National Cheerleading Safety Month.  There are nearly four million cheerleaders across America, ranging in age from six years old to adults. With all the tumbling, tossing, and ever more intricate stunts performed by cheer teams, it’s no surprise that potential injuries are a major concern. 

Although the sport of cheerleading is meant to support athletic teams, it has become an intense competition at the high school and collegiate levels. The new competitive dynamics have increased the risk for injury among young athletes. But the risk has been on the decline in recent years.

Data from the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research shows that cheerleading has experienced a major reduction in injuries, thanks to additional rules, restrictions, and coach training. According to, a 2018-19 High School RIO Study shows cheerleading has the 4th lowest overall injury rate of 20 high school sports studied. In 2018, there were fewer emergency room visits for girls age 14-18 for cheerleading (23,3511) than girls’ basketball (55,069), soccer (40,396), softball (31,095), and volleyball (29.774). Compare this to a statistic reported in 2014 when cheerleading accounted for two-thirds of all catastrophic injuries among female high school athletes.

A cheerleader since 2015, Christian Trahan has not been immune to injury. In 2017, he tore his ACL doing a tumbling pass which resulted in reconstructive surgery. "One of the worst possible things you can do as a dedicated cheerleader is injure yourself,” he says. "The feeling is so miserably upsetting because you are not only preventing yourself from participating in the sport that you love, but you are also affecting the rest of your teammates and coaches.”

Tips for staying safe while cheering:

  • Always warm up and stretch before practice, games, and competitions. 
  • Practice somewhere that has floors that absorb impact well. 
  • Never practice on a basketball court or other hard surface.
  • Use mats and spotters during stunts and pyramids.
  • Work with coaches who have been trained in cheer safety.
Posted by: Angie Kay Dilmore | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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