Blayse Baker proves cheerleading is for everyone
A lot of hard work, determination and school spirit has landed one Bridge City teen on the varsity cheerleading squad. But, what makes this story different is the fact that this cheerleader is a boy.
Boys on the cheerleading squad is not new, just unique to BCHS. Governor Rick Perry was a yell leader at Texas A&M in 1972. It was his squad’s responsibility to fire up the student crowd at football games and school events. It’s actually quite a prestigious position, as leaders are chosen by a vote of the student body and become one of the faces of the athletic department.
Some may think being a cheerleader would be difficult for a boy, but, fortunately, for Blayse Baker, 17, the students have been “extremely” supportive.
The first time he tried out he didn’t make the squad. But, the fun driven teen didn’t let that deter him from achieving his goal.
“Most of the students and teachers have been so supportive,” Baker said. “The first time I tried out in the front of the entire school. I had to wait for about five minutes to start my cheer because the students wouldn’t stop cheering for me.”
After not making the squad following his first tryout, he had no choice but to work harder.
“I worked night and day to prepare for tryouts. I even enrolled into a cheer gym to work on my motions, jumps, and tumbling,” he said.
The following year he tried out again and this time he made the squad. He still takes tumbling and jump classes at The Next Level in Bridge City to keep on top of his game.
In the end, his hard work has paid off. He is a National Cheerleading Association All American and asked to be on the NCA staff. He was also a Cheer Hawaii USA participant and team leader. In addition, he is the Cheer USA Spirit Leader National Champion.
As a child, Baker was very outgoing. He was known to be the bubbly child who talk to anyone and just do anything. But, his love of cheerleading was always apparent.
“ I loved how they were always so confident,” Baker said.
Now, he hopes to be a role model for other boys to reach for their dreams because being a cheerleader is “pretty amazing.”
“ It feels so good to know that I’m setting an example for a little boy who wants to be a cheerleader,” Baker said.
At football games, Baker can be seen with the other varsity cheerleaders pumping up the crowd and spreading school spirit.
Although, Baker is the only boy on the squad, he says, the other cheerleaders are “cool” with him being there to cheer for their team.
With each cheer, he smiles broadly as he looks at the football fans in the stands in a sea of red from one end to the other. With each score he enthusiastically cheers for the Cardinals in hopes of another victory.
However, his biggest fans are his family and friends.
“All of my friends encourage me to follow my dreams,” he said.
But, Blayse’s mother is his “number one fan.”
“She goes to every event I cheer at, rain or shine,” Baker said.
Baker is looking towards his future as his senior year of high school moves forward in leaps and bounds. He plans to tryout for cheerleading teams at various universities. But, he plans to attend either McNeese or Texas State University where he will earn a degree in business. He will take away from high school the memories of his “amazing friends” and “just all of the support from all of the students.”
But, in the back of his mind, he will always hear B-I-G R-E-D, lets go Big Red! Lets go!
Pictured above: Blayse Baker, 17, a cheerleader at Bridge City High School, is a Cheer Hawaii USA participant and team leader where he brushes up on his cheerleading skills.