Cheerleaders occupy new locker room

Esteban Serrano, Lead Editor

The Central Catholic Cheer Team is getting an official new home, right here on Central’s campus. Construction taking place outside of the Historic Alumni Gym for the past couple of months has been to convert the old football locker room into a new cheer locker room. The new space is designed to be comforting and spacious for the girls to get ready for performances and have a place to store uniforms and more.

Lisa Ybarra, Cheer Coach, says that while construction had just started this year, it’s been two years in the making as preparations began way before this school year. “We have been planning this for two years- the funding came from generous donors, from cheer alum, as far back as the 1960s, and then more recent and current cheer alum from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, and we had a generous donation from the Wild Game, and current cheer parents.”

A few weeks ago, however, construction was nearly complete. It was just enough to surprise the members of the cheer team with a ‘soft opening,’ as Ybarra calls it, and also being a very special treat for the seniors as well. “They used it for a basketball game, just so we could get the girls in there.”

She continues, “It’s basically just a space- it’s got mirrors and the lights and stools and they have their little stations and a bathroom, but we haven’t decorated yet. We haven’t put any furniture in there, but we just wanted the girls to be able to get in there, especially the seniors. They’ve been waiting for this for the past three years so we wanted them to be able to use it.”

The soft open was a little bit of a surprise to some, as the cheerleaders had no idea that day what they were about to witness. “I think a lot of the girls thought it was just another restroom because we had been promised this before and it basically was just a restroom… When they walked in, their expressions were priceless. It was a lot more than what they expected, it was bigger than what they expected… having their own little station to get ready was truly a surprise for them. I don’t think they thought it was going to be as nice as it actually turned out. They were very happy, very pleased, very excited, and they’re making themselves right at home.”

Olivia Rodriguez is a senior at Incarnate Word High School and is a current cheerleader on the team. She gave some personal insight into being surprised at their soft opening. “It was really cool seeing the opening since it’s been ‘in the works’ for so long,” she says.

She continues, “We kept being told it was getting pushed back since my sophomore year and we honestly thought it might never get done. Even though it took a while, they still followed through and it’s actually a really nice locker room. We actually have our own space to get ready rather than a couple of tables in the cafeteria. It feels like we’re finally being treated as an actual part of the school.”

Ybarra did say that current cheerleaders and their parents were welcomed to the soft open and that the individual stations and space as a whole were blessed. She did confirm before the start of the 2022 football season that a ribbon-cutting will take place, as they are home to finish some housekeeping within the next few months.

Eddie Ybarra
Eddie Ybarra
Eddie Ybarra
Eddie Ybarra