By Sean Neary
While other guys were going out for typical sports, like football and tennis, junior Daniel Holba decided to try out to be an LHS cheerleader.
“It seemed like it was really fun, and a lot of my friends did it, so why not?” Holba said. He made the JV team this year.
It’s his favorite sport next to swimming, which he really likes also, but this year he’s just doing cheer, because of his studies. Cheerleading is a year-round sport that requires dedication of all your sports time, he said. That means he’s willing to sacrifice all his athletic time this year to cheer.
As the only male cheerleader, Holba said that some people criticize him. They say that they could never see a guy cheering, but he proudly says that he doesn’t care. He is testing the boundaries of society and challenging gender rules.
“I love the fact that Daniel’s a cheerleader,” JV cheerleader Tessa Chapin said, “He’s very spirited, he’s always happy, and he has a good attitude.”
Chapin also said, “It is interesting to have a guy on the team because no other schools have guys, so it makes us different.”
JV cheerleader Alexandrea Vo said that having Daniel on their squad makes cheer more fun. “I’m really glad he made the team,” she said.
Holba’s favorite part of cheer is the outfits they get. He thinks they’re “cool.” However, he doesn’t like stretching. “It’s a long process to like the ear jumps,” he said. In addition to doing cheer in general, Holba does the exact same routine as the girls. “Sometimes it’s a little uncomfortable because they put a lot of hip into it and I’m just like ‘hmm’,” he said.
“He’s just like the rest of us,” Chapin said. “It’s nothing different,” said Vo.
Holba also added that he “loves” being the only male cheerleader, but if other guys want to go out, “by any means do it, because it’d be really cool to have more than one guy cheerleader,” he said.
“I really hope other guys go out for cheer,” Vo said, “I think there might be other guys that want to go out, but they’re too nervous and I hope that when they see Daniel doing it they’ll get encouraged to do it.”
“I like being an LHS cheerleader,” Holba said, “because that’s just one other thing that shows how diverse we are, because Lincoln High is the most diverse school in Lincoln.”
Holba agreed that guys have very strict gender rules and he feels the need for change in society. “People just need to step out and be themselves. Just by the way I act, I feel like, the way you carry yourself, it’s just a statement of who you are,” Holba said.
“Honestly, if it’s what makes you happy, it’s on you,” Chapin said.
“I really like everything about Daniel,” Vo said.
“It’s hard to get out of your comfort zone at times, but once you do, you just feel like, unstoppable. I mean, It’s better to be yourself than to be someone you’re not,” Holba said.