Spend years coaxing your body into impossible contortions, running miles, doing as many pushups, sit-ups, and burpees as any other athletic team, while memorizing complicated dance routines, dangerous gravity-defying stunts, dozens of cheers, and you know, throw in some back flips for good measure. Don’t forget to smile and look cute while you’re at it.

Work really, really, ridiculously hard, and do it all for the glory of the sidelines, because even if you pull off an incredible performance at the most prestigious competition in the country, this laudable achievement will be largely brushed off by your community — it won’t even make the front page of the paper. If the boys on the Warrior Football team had achieved a similar feat at nationals, the town would probably throw them a parade.

Being a cheerleader on a top-performing competitive team is one of the most challenging things a young person can undertake, and the Tsunami All Starz are a phenomenal group of athletes. They deserve so much more than a short mention on page A2 nearly a month after the competition. They deserve massive respect and our hardy congratulations for all their hard work and achievements.

Chelsea Baier