Featured Falcon: Will Batres


Imaan Shanavas

ISP Senior cheerleader Will Batres before the first Pep Rally of the school year. Batres is the only male cheerleader on the team.

Will Batres is an ISP senior and the only male member of the PHS Varsity Cheer team. The Pulse caught up with him this week to talk about his experiences. Some responses have been edited for length or clarity. 

What made you decide to join the cheerleading squad?

Mainly my friend Ashley Pacheco. She talked a lot about it saying how it was fun and my cousin also did it. Going into it I didn’t really know what to expect, but I heard a lot about it and said why not? Might as well try something new. Something last year just clicked and I decided to make a drastic decision and it worked out in my favor!

What is your position on the squad?

I am mostly in the back because I am a lot taller than everyone else, so they usually have me in the back. The shorter people and the returners are usually in the front. For stunting, I do backspot, meaning that I support the person you see flying in the air. I am the person in the back making sure that they don’t fall and if they do fall they fall on me so that I can catch them. I’m the person putting up power to help them fly, and just overall being supportive for them.

How do you juggle cheerleading with school?

That is a good question. I have a lot of experience with time management because I have had a job since sophomore year. I have really learned to balance my education with cheerleading. My daily schedule is I go to school, I get home, take a nap, eat, do whatever I need to do before cheerleading, then I cheer from 5-7, then I come home and finish whatever work that I need to do.

For the past several years, Vincent Chim has been the only male cheerleader on the squad. What does it feel like to step into his shoes?

I wouldn’t say I’m simply filling Vincent’s position. Even though I’m new, I like to think of myself as continuing what Vincent started. [I’m] following that “breaking the mold” kinda thing, showing others, “hey you can do this!” It’s not something embarrassing or something that you should shy away from. You will have so much fun. That’s how I view it, not just that I’m filling the role of some other male cheerleader. I view it as, ok, I am the sole male cheerleader, let me use this to my advantage, let me get other people to see why they should do it and why I decided to do it. I don’t mean to say that guys don’t want to do it, but there is a stigma behind it. I really want to try and end that stigma.

My friends and family have been very supportive and welcoming of me joining the cheerleading team. I have learned so much that I never would have learned had I not joined. I had never done or even tried to do a front handspring before doing cheerleading. But after my fourth try, I did one for the very first time and couldn’t believe that I could even do one!

Cheer on Will and the rest of the cheerleading squad at the next football game or performance!