Lara Leaps into Cheer


Ray Lara - One of this year's male cheerleaders!

Adelyn Gaither, Reporter

Up until this year at Orcutt Academy, our cheerleading team has been all girls. This year marks the first year of our school having a co-ed cheerleading team with 3 boys. Sophomore Ray Lara, one of the three male additions, is tumbling into the new year with not just his insane flips, but with the challenge of doing both gymnastics and cheer while still in school.


Ray Lara has been doing gymnastics for 5 years and is currently on KT’s All-Star Gymnastics male team. Lara loves the competition of gymnastics and the different events including pommel, high bars, rings, floor, vault, and p-bars.


This year Lara decided to try out for Orcutt Academy’s cheerleading team and made it with great admiration from the coaches.  Now as a member of the team, his schedule consists of going to school, then to cheer practice, and rushing to KT’s afterwards. Lara says he manages to finish homework between classes, lunch, and whatever time he can squeeze between cheer and gymnastics. Katey Eckenrode, the owner of KT’s All-Star Gymnastics and OAHS Cheer Coach, has encouraged Lara to tryout for cheer since he was in elementary school, and this year he is standing up to the challenge. Lara shares his favorite aspect about cheer is how the team feels like a family and the support he receives from his teammates.


OAHS is fortunate to have Ray and the other male cheerleaders on our 2017-2018 cheer squad this year. The boys add a lot to the team, including strength, tumbling, and support. Be sure to watch for Lara and the other cheer members at OAHS’s future events.