By D’Vaungh Kelley, Sports Editor

Keenan is at the top of its district in academics and athletics. With championship-caliber teams and deep playoff threats, it may seem that the school has a great atmosphere for all sports.

There is one sport that feels neglected, cheerleading.  Cheerleaders have been told constantly that cheerleading isn’t a sport, and that’s not true. Cheerleaders are constantly undermined, and the numbers prove to be true. According to the Live Science website, high school cheerleading accounted for 65.1 percent of female injuries over the last 25 years. Strains/sprains accounted for 52.4 percent, soft tissue injuries accounted for 18.4 percent, fractures and dislocations accounted for 16.4 percent, lacerations/ avulsions accounted for 3.8 percent, concussions/ close head injuries accounted for 3.5 percent and 5.5 percent were other injuries.

“People don’t understand the skill it takes to be a cheerleader,” Coach Deirdre Hutson said.

Two of Keenan’s cheerleaders have had injuries of their own from cheerleading. Juniors Desia Truesdale and Briana Davidson are two who can tell the story.

“Cheering takes a toll on your body,” Davidson said.

She and Truesdale have had injuries such as ankle sprains, wrist sprains, strained backs and some minor injuries.

“A lot of people think they can do what we do, or that what we do is easy, but they can’t,” Truesdale said.

Keenan’s cheerleaders have spent countless hours between practices and games, which also ties into their study time. They have been told countless times that cheerleading isn’t a sport, but look at what they go through.