“It’s just honestly a big part of who I am and made me who I am,” said Palm Desert High School cheer captain Danica Larson.
You will find Danica Larson leading the sidelines every Friday night, but that is only part of her sport. She has been a competitive cheerleader since she was 10 years old.
“I love stunting and tumbling and flipping, all of that is so fun… and also, it’s, like, a great team sport and I love getting close with all my teammates and all the fun memories we’ve made," she said. "It’s just… it’s great!”
Coach Cori Hart has known Larson for many years, coaching her in both dance and cheer.
“Oh, I’ve seen her grow incredibly, you know, from an outgoing little girl to an amazing beautiful, you know, dedicated person that is just there for her team,” said Hart, Palm Desert High School's head cheer and dance coach.
Not only is she captain of the cheer team, Larson is a leader on campus through the Associated Student Body organization.
“All of her peers look up to her. She’s always positive, always out there to help and encourage everybody, especially during this time because everyone needs a little extra encouragement, she’s right there to pick everyone up,” Hart said.
High school will likely be the end of Larson's cheer career, but it will always be a part of her.
“Well, a huge part of cheer, obviously is teamwork and responsibility, so I think, throughout my whole life, that’s definitely something that I’ll carry with me and something that I’ve learned from cheer and gave me a really good perspective on,” she said.
“I really truly feel that she’s going to just leave that Danica smile, that Danica energy and that positivity behind. She’s really going to leave that legacy and we’re all going to love her for it,” Hart said.
But until then, she is going to enjoy what’s left of this shortened football season on the sidelines with her teammates. One last hurrah!