Chavers continues Mosquera’s cheer legacy

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Jacob Chavers cheering on the Patriots at Waldrop Stadium on Sep 9, 2022. Photo contributed by Jacob Chavers.

Helen Marlin

As Waldrop’s stands fill up, Jacob Chavers can be seen passionately cheering on the sidelines for the Homewood patriots. Chavers is the only male cheerleader on the squad, but he has endured the same rigorous auditions and practices as his female teammates.

From stunting to sideline cheering to dance routines, Chavers is one of the only two males to ever secure a spot on the Homewood High School Cheerleading Team. 

Chavers is not an amateur cheerleader. He kicked off his cheerleading career with the Homewood Middle School eighth grade team. In addition to school cheerleading, Jacob has also cheered for two years with ACE, a competitive cheer gym in Birmingham. 

Chavers’ family has supported him every step of the way. He says,  “My family loves it; they have supported me ever since I discovered my passion for cheer. Everyone was happy for me when I made cheer.”

Additionally, his Homewood High School teammates have embraced Chavers joining the squad. “The team is wonderful!” Jacob said. “I love everyone on the team.” 

Of all the talents Chavers brings to the team, he likes doing stunts best. Chavers enjoys all aspects of being a cheerleader and would like to continue to pursue ACE cheering when he goes to college. 

When asked if he ever experienced backlash or negativity as a male cheerleader, Jacob says, “There will always be someone who dislikes it. I made it anyway; that is what matters, so it doesn’t really bother me.”

While Chavers has added representation to the team, he is not the first male cheerleader at Homewood High School. That honor lies with Byron Mosquera, the show choir teacher at Homewood High School. 

Byron Mosquera poses with some members of the HHS cheerleading squad in 2007.

Mosquera’s entry into cheerleading was by necessity at first. He needed a PE credit to graduate. As a rising senior, he was given the choice to either take PE For Life or join the cheerleading squad. 

Since Mosquera was a self-taught gymnast and naturally-talented dancer, the decision was easy. Encouraged by his friends who were on the squad, Mosquera auditioned and made it.

Mosquera describes his role on the cheerleading squad as someone who mostly spotted stunts and tumbled. He did not perform most of the traditional sideline cheering routines or dances, but he used his gymnastic skills at games to add a fun element to the squad routines. 

While being the first male cheerleader at Homewood High School might have drawn criticism from his classmates, he too was not deterred by their reaction. 

Mosquera is encouraged to see Jacob continuing the legacy and encourages anyone wanting to try something new to go for it, whether this consists of auditioning for a team or joining an activity. 

Byron Mosquera performs gymnastics at a Homewood High School pep rally in 2007.

If you have a passion for it, do it.  Don’t care what people think because you will miss out on so many opportunities if you are too worried about what people are going to say or think.”

— Byron Mosquera

Chavers and Mosquera followed their passions, allowing them to create great memories of their high school experiences.