He's the Man...at Behrend
Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 8:10 PM
Author: Puja Mazumder (news editor)
Trevor Arnot took a cheerleader to prom in high school. Now, he is one.
Arnot, being only one of four male cheerleaders on the team, has the job of balancing out 16 female cheerleaders.
Only a freshman, Arnot has already earned the nickname of “Man Leader.”
Arnot is an aspiring architectural engineer who has always had a passion for sports.
“When I was younger, I played all kinds of sports, like soccer, baseball, and wrestling,” Arnot said.
He knew coming to Behrend that he would be involved in sports.
Arnot was initially planning to be on the baseball team, but was told it was too late to try out. He thought about joining intramural sports, but decided it wasn’t competitive enough for him.
The last thing on his mind, however, was becoming a cheerleader.
“After I was persuaded to join, I was itching to quit, but that’s when the girls told me guys were rare to have on the team,” Arnot said.
Having had no previous experience in cheer, it took some time for him to get used to.
“During our first couple practices, I kept thinking to myself, ‘What am I doing here? This isn’t for me,’” Arnot said.
“It was awkward sometimes because I had to grab the ankle and touch the girl’s butt. I didn’t even know her, but it’s something you have to do. You have to get through the awkward parts,” Arnot said.
As Arnot spent more time in practice, he became more comfortable and found his place on the team. It became less difficult.
“For a guy, it’s not really hard. You just make sure the girls don’t fall on their asses, but for girls, it’s hard. It takes lots of courage to do things like basket toss swings,” Arnot said.
“I back Erin Kyle – and to do what she does...Coach puts so much pressure on her,” Arnot said.
For someone who always played sports and watched the cheerleaders from afar, Arnot felt the tables had turned on him.
“That was me [a jock] in high school – now it’s like coming back to bite my ass,” Arnot said. He adds, “My prom date was a cheerleader, and she couldn’t believe it when I told her.”
His parents were also surprised to hear the news. He had told them he was going to try out for the football team at University Park. He still plans on doing this when he transfers in this fall.
Arnot says even though he is not a fan of the city and feels intimidated by it, it is something he has to do because his major requires it.
“You gotta do what you gotta do,” Arnot said.
In the beginning of his journey, Arnot had to deal with people calling him “The new straight guy on the team” or his friends making fun of him.
“People say there are only two reasons for a guy to become a cheerleader. You do it either to get with girls or it’s because you’re gay,” Arnot said.
Arnot never let any of the comments get to him.
“I don’t quit, I’m not a quitter,” Arnot said.
The club, as of now, cheers for basketball games. They also have social hours to help the members bond. Over the last couple months, the club members have gotten close and are not afraid to be honest with one another.
“If someone does something wrong, they’ll let you know. There’s not that hesitant moment because when something looks bad, we all look bad,” Arnot said.
Since Arnot is just one of four, even though people may not necessarily know him by name, they know of him. When asked if he feels famous, he shrugged and answered, “No, I don’t feel famous.”
He, like many freshmen, went through feeling homesick the first couple months. However, he says he is just living the whole college experience.
Even though Arnot may have had doubts about his decision at first, he now is happy to be on the team.
“In the beginning, I was hesitant, but now I take pride in it. Coach says girls would kill to be a cheerleader. Not everyone makes it,” Arnot said.
Arnot says he has not faced any real discrimination since becoming a “Man Leader.” He doesn’t doubt that people still do it.
“Maybe they do it behind my back. There will always be people pointing fingers. I figure people are grown up now,” Arnot said