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Photo: ‘Cheer’/Netflix

It seems like you can’t go anywhere these days without hearing about Cheer on Netflix. Between Jerry’s mat talk, Monica’s tough coaching style, and the intensity of college athletics in small-town Texas, there is much to unravel about the six-episode docuseries that has everyone’s attention. This group of misfits at Navarro College have much more than just extreme athletic ability and skill to bond them, they are tied together through the love of the sport and past traumas that make them all un-apologetically themselves. 

The Heroes Of Corsicana, Texas Wear Cheer Uniforms

In the small town of Corsicana, Texas, the Navarro Cheer team are celebrities. Coach Monica Aldama has spent the last few years of her life dedicating every ounce of passion she has for the sport and pouring it back into her team members. Monica is no pushover. It is very apparent from this series that she is truly running the ship, and nobody does it quite like her. She is stern but loving, and she is the type of coach that audience members can resonate with. More importantly, the group of kids she coaches is truly what makes this series a must-watch. Every single person on the team has a backstory, most of which have caused a great struggle for them in becoming a part of the team. Every heartwarming story of the team members is what gives this show so much soul.

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While viewers watch an intense fight as the athletes work their way to the ultimate cheer showdown in Daytona, they get to learn more about the incredible talent on the team. Coming from all over the country, these skilled college students aren’t the typical cheerleaders we know. These are hardcore athletes that are determined and striving for perfection. We watch them struggle, get injured, break down, and so much more, all of it only adding to the raw emotion that keeps audiences coming back for more. These kids have made their way into everyone’s hearts, showing how no matter what they go through off-mat, they know that when they hit that beginning mark they all have one common goal: to win.

People Can’t Get Over The Intense Athleticism And Passion In Cheer

Not only are these kids equipped with more heart and soul than viewers could have imagined, but they are also some of the most intense athletes college sports have ever seen. They all can remember a time they struggled with being known only as the ‘cheerleader’ and nothing else. They can remember a time that they were not taken seriously within their sport, and quite literally pushed to the sidelines. Cheer aims to expose all of those times these athletes weren’t taken seriously and shows the world just how much raw talent they each possess. Lexi is a powerhouse tumbler, La’Darius is an incredibly skilled dancer, Morgan is a hardworking flyer who started as the underdog and that’s just a handful of the team. 

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The way in which Director Greg Whiteley digs deeper than the surface level of what most Americans see when they picture the ‘cheerleader’, heavily contributes as to why so many people can connect with the series. While other sport-related series might focus more heavily on the drama between players or parents, Cheer does a wonderful job of bringing the focus back to the sport at hand, while giving a genuine reflection of the hardships everyone in the series faced. There is a reason why so many people across so many backgrounds can connect to the sport of cheer. 

One does not have to be a cheerleader themselves to understand the struggle of being a young adult navigating every curve ball life throws at you, while also working day in and day out on what makes you passionate. That is the drive behind this series; passion is what gets each team member through the long practices and extensive injuries. It is clear that this passion has resonated deeply within viewers, and it is safe to say everyone would not mind following the journey of the Navarro Cheer team as they go through ups and downs. 

By Merrick Sinclair

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