Hicks and Wineglass: breaking stereotypes


Mckenzie Arroyo

Senior Bryce Hicks and junior Steven Wineglass perform as the only two male cheerleaders currently at Clover Hill. (Steven Wineglass)

Like many other schools in the area, Clover Hill has always had exclusively female cheerleaders. This year, two males, Senior Bryce Hicks and junior Steven Wineglass, joined the cheerleading team, showing that times are changing.  

There has always been a stereotype: females do the cheering and males play sports. For instance, at each football game, cheerleaders are on the sidelines while a football game goes on in the background. 

Senior Bryce Hicks broke that stereotype. He has cheered for Clover Hill High School for two consecutive years and put on a show for many halftimes and pep rallies. Hicks has always been around cheerleaders and developed strong friendships and connections in cheer. Through this, he has come to believe that cheer is about togetherness and self-improvement in opposition to the common belief that cheerleaders are “mean and self centered.”

Bryce Hicks stands and poses for a picture in the hallway before the Senior Night spirit walk. (Mckenzie Arroyo)

“To me, cheer means unity and kindness,” Hicks said. “[It’s] really putting yourself out there, and being the best you can be.” 

Some of the biggest problems surrounding male cheerleading are the social norm that males are not allowed to cheer because it is a feminine sport and the belief that males are supposed to stick to one thing and females are supposed to stick with another. Being a male cheerleader is out of the ordinary for those who share this belief. However, hearing about unity and kindness in cheer can open up a wider window for more males to feel comfort in becoming a cheerleader.

“It’s really good to just change that narrative of females can only do this sport, because we can all do it,” said Hicks.

Junior Steven Wineglass feels that Hicks was a major influence on his own pursuit to become a cheerleader. While Wineglass does not cheer on the sidelines on Friday nights, he will continue his path with competition cheer.

“I joined cheer because I saw another male cheerleader,” Wineglass said. “I always wanted to do All-Star cheer… [when] I saw another male doing [it], I joined.” 

Wineglass also says that while he did not do sideline cheer, he finds success in competitive cheer. He does not feel like gender should be attached to cheer. He believes that anyone can be a cheerleader if they want to, and that it does not only have to be a specific group of people that enjoy the sport.

Steven Wineglass recently shifted his talents away from sideline cheer to focus on competition cheer. (Steven Wineglass)

Both Wineglass and Hicks know that they are judged for being male  cheerleaders. However, judgment comes from a different group than expected. Both say that they have been viewed in a negative light by former female cheerleaders.

According to Wineglass, he was judged during the freshman kick off by the audience. Most of the judgment, he believes, comes from the fact that seeing a male cheerleader was a bit of a shock to others.

 “They were talking about male cheerleaders being on the team… now that I [have] gotten to know most of the cheerleaders, I’m used to it,” Wineglass said. “I’m cool with them now.” 

Hicks agrees with Wineglass about being judged and shares his surprise about who is doing it.

“I think I have been judged, but it’s not by the audience I thought I was going to be judged by,” Hicks said. “It’s not something that people look down on you for, it’s something that they actually encourage you to do.”

Hicks and Wineglass both believe that being a male cheerleader is a hard job; it is challenging for them to execute moves like females can. They also feel that it is difficult for them to not get in their own minds when they have to perform in front of people due to their increased worry of potential judgment. However, seeing male high schoolers becoming cheerleaders shines a light on how times have changed and exhibits the trait of the current generation as being judgment free. 

Both will both continue on into competition cheer, while Hicks will finish out the sideline season as well. At the end of the day, they know the school will show their excitement for all the hard work and dedication that they have put into cheerleading.