Joseph Harris could be considered a trend setter, among local athletes.
As a Washougal High School freshman, he tried out for the varsity cheerleading squad and succeeded.
That was last year, and it took some time for Harris to enjoy being a member of a predominantly female team.
“Being on varsity was scary last year,” he said. “I did not know any of the upperclassmen. If you make the team for cheerleading, you have to wear your uniform on the first day [of school]. I did not really know anybody. This year, I was not scared. I was excited to wear my uniform.
“I like cheerleading,” Harris added. “Even if people had problems with it, I’d still cheer lead. Words are not going to hurt me. As long as I’m having fun, I don’t really care.”
During his freshman year, he was a cheerleader during the football and basketball seasons.
Harris’ family can take some credit for his interest in cheering. They include a female cousin who cheers for Idaho State University and another relative who coached gymnastics.