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Warren cheerleading team welcomes male team members

GURNEE – According to Warren Township High School senior cheerleader Jena Rosenbaum boys have not shied away since the cheerleading team recently became co-ed.

In fact, the school actually advertised joining the team as a way to meet girls, Rosenbaum said.

Senior Brian Cross said he joined the team because he had a girl friend on the

"Never in my life did I think I would go out for cheerleading,'' Cross said. "I saw it as an opportunity, so I went for it."

The five boys who went out for cheerleading at the school have added to the team's success. This squad heads for Grayslake North on Saturday for a chance to cheer at the state meet in Bloomington. Grayslake North is the host of the sectional.

It's been quite the ride since head coach Katie Mohr decided to call for tryouts in April.

"We had an open gym and I told a bunch of my girls to bring their boy friends," Mohr said. "Now, this isn't just throwing girls around. It's a time commitment. All the boys have to cheer at home basketball games."

As the big event looms this weekend, Rosenbaum is glad the males have come
around to help out.

"I really enjoy it,'' Rosenbaum said. "They bring fun to practice. I think it's fun for them. I think we get more respect now that we are a co-ed team."

Cross takes his role on the team seriously. He's a back spot. In other words, he's there to make sure no one gets hurt.

"I help lift the girls,'' Cross said. "I support the ankle and make sure they don't fall."

There are 13 teams scheduled to hit the floor at the Grayslake North Sectional come Saturday. Warren will compete against the likes of Libertyville, Barrington, Lakes, Grant and Mundelein. The Blue Devils are scheduled to perform at 11:50 a.m.

"We've been doing well,'' Rosenbaum said. "We've placed in the top five in
other tournaments. So we are pretty good."

Also on the cheerleading squad is Max Sorby. For those who follow football, they would recognize this star running back.

Mohr said the young men are doing well in their new roles on the team.

"I think the guys were a little scared to cheer at basketball games," Mohr said. "At the start, they were kind of confused because they were new to it. But, they are all athletes. And they have been extremely respectful to me."

The sport of cheerleading is not for the faint of heart.

"Girls get injured all the time,'' Mohr said. "We've had two girls with concussions. Girls fall on a daily basis."

Rosenbaum plans to continue this sport in college.

"I'm going to try out for the team at Indiana University,'' Rosenbaum said.

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