Just before half-time on Friday, Nov. 8 in the football game between the Wilcox Chargers and the Fremont Firebirds, a cheer arose from the stands, “Let’s Go Wilcox, Let’s Go Wilcox.” The sound grew and grew and attracted the attention of nearly everyone in the stands and on the field.
The chants were booming from a variety of cheer teams that came out in support of a male Wilcox cheerleader who had been bullied just a few weeks before. Nearly 40 members of various cheer groups — from as far away as Santa Rosa and San Francisco — came out to show their support.
Liam Potolsky, a 16-year-old male cheerleader with the California All Stars Black Ops, put out the call to other cheerleaders.
He said that he wanted to bring awareness to the incident and help the bullied cheerleader know he wasn’t alone, that others out there support him.
“This is also about every male cheerleader feeling supported,” Potolsky said.
Through a social media post, Potolsky asked cheerleaders to join him at Wilcox, “All cheerleaders are invited; however, we would like to have as many male cheerleaders out there as possible.” Cheerleaders were encouraged to wear their uniforms — past or present).
“We’re here to show our support,” Cheer SF’s Michael explained as cheer groups gathered just outside the field before the game. “Liam organized this, and we want all male cheerleaders to know we support them.”
The cheer groups that came out in support included groups from Cheer SF; Nor*Cal Elite All Stars; Piedmont, James Lick, and Saratoga High Schools; San Jose State; Rebels Elite SF; Rouge Athletics Bay Area; and Jamz Cheer and Dance.
After the half-time performance, the Wilcox cheerleader came over and met Potolsky and the others. Hugs and smiles were exchanged, and the feeling of support radiated from the group.