Pom Poms Don’t Grow on Trees

Emma Moloney, Editor-in-Chief

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Last edition, an article was published by the P&G about the alleged lack of district funding received by Hickman cheer. Though the perspectives of many of the Hickman cheerleaders were included, the interviews did not capture the entire story, failing to include comments from Hickman cheer coach Molly Lyman, J.D. Coffman, and Bruce Whitesides. We apologize for not addressing every side of the story, as that total coverage is an aspect of our paper that we value highly. We hope that through this correction both sides will be included and the whole story regarding Hickman cheer and funding will be revealed.

Cheer is typically an expensive sport. Though the members on the squad only have to repurchase a few new items every year, the price of these items and uniforms can become expensive.

“The only things kids have to repurchase each year are shoes and competition bows,” said Hickman cheer coach Molly Lyman. “Unfortunately, the company we used in the past had a sort of monopoly on the sport of cheer and charged a LOT for items.”

It is because of this that many of the athletes had felt overwhelmed by the cost of all the items in years past, caused by the single-company “monopoly” on the apparel bought by the cheer squad.

However, with the funding from the district organized by District Athletic Director Bruce Whitesides and help from J.D. Coffman, some measures are being taken to prevent this over-spending.

The Hickman cheer team has recently been added to a three year uniform rotation. This means that every three years funds coming from gate sales into events and the district go towards purchasing new uniforms for athletic teams. Now that cheer is included in this rotation, they are saved a lot of money that would have previously gone exclusively towards buying uniforms.

“We are trying to find the LOWEST cost we can for everything … which is why my staff and I are VERY happy we are part of Adidas now,” said Lyman.

In addition to their inclusion on the uniform rotation, Hickman cheer receives funds from a combination of sources. These include personal fundraisers, booster club events and meeting, and district sanctioned funds.

From the district, Hickman cheer is given an annual budget around 2000 dollars. Though it has not increased, this sum has stayed consistent for many years now and goes to help the cheerleaders pay for busses to sporting events. This money comes from royalties and other funds given to the district which is then spread out between multiple teams and schools. The Hickman cheer team also has an account that occasionally gets extra funds whenever the district can allow it.

Though it may seem as though little to no money is being given to the cheer athletes, the district is doing what they can to provide the Hickman cheer athletes with the funds that they can give to help support the members on the squad.

One thing that is evident from the comments by Whitesides and Coffman is that both are committed to supporting their athletes in any ways they can. The funds given to the Hickman cheer squad go to help cover any costs possible and the district makes sure that they are provided for as much as possible.

Another aspect of our original story was the fact that many of the athletes on the squad debated the fairness of following MSHSAA rules.

“Each cheerleader is given our guidelines before the season starts so they are aware of what the rules are,” said Lyman. “I showed [them] what MSHSAA stands for and that they cover sports AND activities.”

Despite the funds coming in from the district, many cheerleaders were not aware of the fact they received any, leading to their statements in the last article. However, Lyman was also not aware of the funding until after the publishing of the article.

“The kids thinking we didn’t receive funding is because at the time, we didn’t know,” said Lyman. “I have corrected this and let them know we do receive money to use for bussing. They also know we have been included in the uniform rotation this year and are VERY thankful for that.”

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Pom Poms Don’t Grow on Trees