Gianna Vari: Putting the Student in Student Athlete


Gianna ’26

Lydia W. '26

Gianna Vari is a freshman football/basketball cheerleader as well as a competitive cheerleader. She is one of the five tumblers on the OLSH cheer team and is on the varsity cheer squad. Gianna is a high honor student that is involved in many other OLSH activities and clubs such as JA and Charger Ally. She is a proud student at OLSH and supports the other OLSH athletes at the games that she doesn’t cheer at. 


Q: How long have you been cheering?

A: “I have done cheer for 5 years.”

Q: Do you prefer competitive cheer or cheering for games? Why?

A: “Competitive cheer because the feeling of walking onto the mat and having our ‘own game’ is so much fun.”

Q: Basketball or football games?

A: “I like cheering at football games better because the student section is huge and being under the lights is really cool.”

Q: How do you balance cheer with your studies?

A: “I usually go home and do all of my homework and study before practice or games.”

Q: What is your study technique?

A: “I use Quizlet a lot and I’ve learned that using Quizlet helps me focus more than just reading my notebook over and over again.”

Q: Have you ever had any problems balancing cheer and school work?

A: “The problem I sometimes have is when I have a lot of homework/tests and I get stressed out but still have to go to cheer.”

Q: What was the tryout process to get on the cheerleading team? 

A: “Before tryouts, we learned a dance and a cheer. Then at tryouts, we performed that dance and cheer, as well as a jump and a tumbling pass.”

Q: Were you nervous for tryouts/ your first few games? If so, how did you get over these nerves?

A: “I was extremely nervous for tryouts because the people trying out had a lot more experience than me, and I thought that I might not be good enough. But then I realized that I am good enough and I grew my confidence which helped me get rid of my nerves.”

Q: Did you do anything to prepare for tryouts on your own time?

A: “Our head coach, coach Dana, sent out a video of what the cheer and dance are, and I just practiced them and drilled them until they were perfect.”

Q: Do you do anything else outside of school? Hobbies? 

A: “Outside of school, I play basketball for my parish. I have played basketball for 9 years, but I wanted to commit to cheer instead, so now I just play basketball in my free time.”