Senior Football Cheerleader Spotlight- Makinley Bonesteel

Gavin Postlewaite

It’s August and that means a couple of exciting things; for two senior girls it especially means football cheer. I got the chance to sit down and interview two incredible individuals, Makinley Bonesteel and Katie Lanham, about their experiences and life, in and outside of cheer, but also dive deeper and discuss stereotypes in the sport.

Makinley has been flipping and flying since she was nine years old.  “It’s just something my mom had gotten me involved in. I actually started at the competitive level, and eventually it just kind of went into me doing football cheer.” She started football cheer in grade school, and has been a cheerleader for all four years of high school. Even with a full pedigree like herself, Makinley still keeps a cool, humble personality. When asked what she thought was the hardest part about football cheer, she replied, “I’d say the hardest part for me is just having to be very flexible with everyone, because not everyone has the same level of ability. You just have to be understanding about that.” There are 16 girls on the squad this year; they have been working hard, and are fired up for the season. Makinley said, “I am most excited for our improved football player numbers from last year’s team; and hopefully we have a winning season. Also, just the fact it’s my senior year.” Now here’s the big question, do you feel like cheer is stereotyped? “I definitely think cheer can be stereotyped; people think it can only be the popular and pretty girls who cheer and that it’s just an all-girl sport. Personally, I don’t think OPH is like this at all. We have all different types of people cheering and there was even a boy on the team several years ago. We are a very diverse group. “

After football cheer Makinley will go straight into basketball cheer. Her plans for the future are even brighter. “After high school I would like to become a nurse practitioner, that’s my end goal.” To get there I want to get my 4-year degree to be a registered nurse; then, maybe do some travel nursing in there but eventually settle back down and become a nurse practitioner.” Her advice to people thinking about doing cheer is to go for it because it never hurts to try. 

Goodluck in the future Makinley!