For the cheerleaders at Beckman High School, it’s not just about cheering on the football team under those Friday night lights or the basketball team as they shoot the buzzer winning shot, it’s also about cheering on those in the community who need it most! Every year, the BHS cheerleaders spend a Saturday in October out on the baseball diamond at Angel Stadium cheering on the Little League Challengers at their annual Challenger Classic.
The Challenger Classic provides the opportunity for over 900 children with special needs to get on the field at Angel Stadium of Anaheim with Angels staff and players to enjoy the great game of baseball. Despite these athletes physical and mental challenges, this opportunity allows them to experience their version of a Friday night lights or a major league baseball game. The BHS cheerleaders, along with many other high school cheerleading programs, partake in this event to celebrate and cheer on these amazing athletes as they run the bases and cross home plate.
The event starts off with all the cheerleaders forming a tunnel as the teams take the field and head to their designated playing areas, then once the games begin each cheer program is assigned a team to cheer for. The cheerleaders love getting the chance to change up their regular school cheers to fit with the teams they’re cheering for at the classic. Their favorite part? Any time one of the athletes scores!
Players like Derek Chapman, also known as The Cartwheel Kid, even does a cartwheel every time he rounds third base and crosses home plate. After the games end, there is an awards ceremony for the teams to partake in, as well as a photo opportunity with some of the Angels players…and even some time to make TikTok videos! This past year, the BHS cheerleaders had the chance to be featured in one of player’s, Zachary Valentine’s, TikTok video to help him and his brother celebrate their team’s victory at the Challenger Classic.
Moments like these are why it means so much to the Beckman High School cheerleaders to continue coming back and volunteering for this event. For these young women, this opportunity is more than just a community service project, it’s the opportunity for them to bond with the players, help them celebrate their victories, and understand what it truly means to be a Beckman Patriot!