QUICK THOUGHT: The 6th Man - New Haven Cheerleaders Help Lead Lady Rocks To Third Straight Final Four

Photos by Kelly Hoffmann
Article by Kyle Quick

--After the Lady Shamrocks defeated Neelyville 42-34, advancing to Columbia for the third straight year, as they began walking off the court they stopped, turned towards Shamrock fans and their other teammates, as the New Haven’s Cheerleaders led everyone in the singing of their school song.

We always ask the players “How does it feel to be going to state” but never think of asking the cheerleaders the same question.  They practice all season long with the same motto of representing New Haven’s “Tradition of Excellence”.

I spoke with two senior cheerleaders, Captain Madison Yarbrough, who will have been a cheerleader all four years and senior Megan Poe.

In Yarbrough’s four years one moment she will never forget came last night when they and all the fans began singing the school song.  “Singing our alma mater after the game and seeing the players across the court turn around, seeing their look, “like is this really happening, are they singing that just for them” and we were.  We were singing it for them and for New Haven and knowing at that moment New Haven owned that whole court.  It was so beautiful and amazing and I will never forget that moment.”

Lady Shamrocks cheer after singing school song.

Poe said, “Tonight I felt like a Shamrock more than I ever have because of what happen when they started walking off the court and everyone started singing our school song and the look on the girls’ faces was incredible.  I use to play with several girls in Middle School and I’m so so proud of them.”

Being a cheerleader takes more work than they are given credit for.  I’ll be the first to admit it.  There is no way I could cheer for 32 minutes yet alone have the same amount of energy I began the game with.

The title “Cheerleader” makes it quite obvious what their job is during games, lead fans in cheers, which is not always easy, particularly when your team is losing, but that never stops them from trying to get their team going.

Yarbrough said, “It’s like all of New Haven is there and are so willing to cheer or will start cheers themselves.  They don’t give it a second thought, they just do it and it’s amazing to see how New Haven all comes together to cheer on their team, I absolutely love it.”

Poe and Yarbrough’s responses to what does it feel like to be going back to state were identical, “It’s absolutely incredible and like nothing else.” 

Both senior point guard Rachel Steinhoff and senior forward Emily Kallmeyer commented on how they get an extra boost when fans are going crazy and cheering them on.

There’s no doubt that the Lady Rock’s “6th Man” are New Haven’s Cheerleaders and deserve to be recognized for all their had work in keeping Shamrock fans “fired up”.

Video of the singing of New Haven's Alma Mater recorded by LuAnne Engelbrecht.