Rachel Buchholz has discovered herself through cheer


Rachel Buchholz

Rachel smiling with her friends from cheer

Freshman Rachel Buchholz accomplished a goal that many do not.

Stepping onto the gym floor for tryouts as a freshman, Rachel did not expect to make the FHC Varsity Cheer Team; she was quickly caught off guard with a congratulating phone call. 

“I was really surprised,” Rachel said. “I was talking to my mom about it when I got back from the audition, and she said ‘Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get on the team because a lot of times, freshmen don’t usually get on varsity,’ but then I got the phone call back, and my coach said ‘Congrats you made it! Oh, and you are the only freshman.’ I was really surprised and super happy.”

Although Rachel was incredibly surprised when she heard the good news, she had been putting countless hours and effort into cheer prior.

Ever since seventh grade, Rachel has been a part of the sideline cheer team. Shortly after the season ended, she decided to partake in competitive cheer.

I just found I can really be myself at cheer. The sport allows me to open up to people I never expected to talk to, and I love that.”

— Rachel Buchholz

“I’ve been doing cheer since seventh grade,” Rachel said. “I started in seventh grade, and I kind of started off with the sideline season and I liked it a lot. I decided to continue because they sent out a flyer for it, and I had no idea what it was. So, I started doing competitive, and I’ve just done it every year since and tried to work my way up to being the best I can be.”

Beginning cheer at such a young age, Rachel was ecstatic to create new friendships and make many fun memories—and that is exactly what she did.

Starting cheer, Rachel barely knew any of the girls on the team; quickly, the nerves transformed into her introducing herself to everyone.

“When I started cheer, I didn’t know a lot of the girls,” Rachel said. “I was kind of scared to be on the team with them, but then I introduced myself and tried to be outgoing and extroverted. I ended up making friends with a bunch of upperclassmen, especially once I started [high school] cheer. I just found I can really be myself at cheer. The sport allows me to open up to people I never expected to talk to, and I love that.”

While the friendships Rachel has made are incredibly impactful in her life, her favorite part of cheer is something quite out of the ordinary: the yelling.

“It is kind of weird, but I really like the yelling aspect of cheer,” Rachel said. “If I am having a bad day, I can show up to practice and take all of my anger out with the yelling and the chants.”

If Rachel is going through a bad day, she can always rest assured in the fact that she will be able to take her anger out on the mats and by screaming certain chants.

Rachel went into the sport with no knowledge on how to do many stunts, but every day at practice she learns how to better herself and her stunts.

“I am trying to get a backhand spring right now,” Rachel said, “because my highest skill for standing tumbling is a back walkover. So, I am trying to get my backhand spring and then hopefully work up from there to reach higher difficulties.”

Whether it be creating long-lasting memories or friendships, yelling until she can’t seem to do so anymore, or working her way up tumbling levels, Rachel admires every aspect of cheer. The people she has surrounded herself with are to become everlasting friendships, and she has found herself through the sport of cheer. 

“I have become so much more outgoing,” Rachel said. “I have gained so many new friends, and I have learned amazing life lessons all because of this sport—I love it.”