EL DORADO — Adam Osborn wants to tumble his way into a college scholarship.
The Union Mine High sophomore is in his first year on the Diamondback varsity cheerleading squad, and its only male. Most male cheerleaders, whether high school or college level, are there to assist the female cheerleaders with various stunts but not Osborn whose repertoire includes tumbling, dance, jumps and stunting.
Since cheerleading is considered a sport with physical activity based on organized routines in front of crowds at football and basketball games, rallies and community events, Osborn plans to build his skills in hopes of landing a scholarship at a four-year college.
The thrill of performing different stunts thrills Osborn.
“I love it when I’m out there tumbling,” Osborn said. “The crowd is cheering, it gives me a lot of energy. It just feels good. The tumbling is a lot of fun; I love doing it.”
Osborn learned how to do a back flip on a trampoline three years ago, and has been hooked onto gymnastics since.
“When I learned how to do a back flip on a trampoline, I was like ‘hey this is kind of cool,’” Osborn said. “I thought I could get into it, and thought I could get better.”
Osborn had mixed feelings toward trying out for the school’s cheer squad last spring.
“I thought it would be harder at first, but it ended up getting easier as we went along,” Osborn said. “The tryouts were pretty easy.”
Over the summer, Osborn and the D’back cheerleaders attended two cheerleading camps. When asked if he was treated differently than the girls, he quickly said “no.”
“It makes me feel more like part of the team when I get involved in the routines,” Osborn said.
In the last five months, the attitudes toward Osborn being on the pep squad has changed, he noted.
“My whole family supported it when I started,” Osborn said. “The feedback has been a lot more positive. People can see what I can do.”
Christine Treece, a senior who is one of the D’back cheer captains, feels his skills of doing various stunts makes the cheer squad better.
“It’s nice to have a male figure,” Treece said. “He’s a really genuine guy.”
Treece admitted that when he tried out last spring, the idea of a male being on the cheer squad seemed awkward. But as they entered summer workouts, he and the other girls became comfortable with each other.
“Now it’s like ‘Adam, can you help with this (routine)?’” Treece said.
Treece sees Osborn’s enthusiasm continue to grow stronger in preparation to cheer for the boys and girls basketball seasons.
“He loves doing it,” Treece said.
He’s given advice to guys who are thinking about trying out for the school’s cheer team next spring.
“What I said to them was ‘just don’t worry about it,’” Osborn said. “If you get bullied about it, just don’t make a big deal out of it. You can show them what you can do.”
According to Union Mine High Athletic Director Dave Johnson, Osborn is the only male cheerleader among this year’s varsity and junior varsity squads. But there have been other male D’back cheerleaders since the school opened its doors at the start of the 1999-2000 school year.
Catch Osborn next month when the D’backs varsity and junior varsity pep squads cheer for the Union Mine High boys and girls basketball teams when Sierra Valley Conference begins.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.