Local competition cheerleader sets his sights on Disney

The Habersham Central High School Competitive Cheer Squad placed first in its first competition of the 2023-24 school year. (photo submitted)

Cheerleading is his passion, and Kevin Olandez wants to continue it into college.

“I love competition cheer,” expresses Olandez. He cheers on the Habersham Central High School squad. His coach, Christy Thompson, has been an inspiration to him.

“Kevin is full of energy and has definitely added personality to our local program,” says Thompson. “Since beginning on our JV Competition team last year, he has continually grown in skill and confidence.”

Inaugural event

It was Coach Thompson and Olandez’s passion for competition cheerleading that led him to try out for next year’s Spring Break Performance at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. As part of the audition, students had to learn choreography by event sponsor Varsity Spirit and submit a video and written application.

The event is from March 9th through the 12th and will involve several days of practice and a cheer on Main Street in the Disney Parade. Over 2000 participants from all over the United States will join in the performance.

Olandez is the only cheerleader from our area to go. It’s a first-time event, and Coach Thompson says the opportunity to participate is “so new that I haven’t heard of any other competition cheerleaders being involved yet.”

Blazing a trail isn’t new to Olandez. He’s the only guy on Habersham Central’s Competition Cheer Team. They compete in four events each fall. Not only does Coach Thompson encourage him, but he receives tremendous support from his teachers as well.

“Competition Cheer has helped me become a good leader. Being able to participate is a great feeling,” Olandez says. “I am the only male on the squad. Sometimes I get some hate from people, but most of the time, people are supportive.”

Olandez does a One Man stunt, which is difficult and requires a lot of strength. “I work very hard to do my job well,” he adds.

Habersham Central Competitive Cheer Team (photo submitted)

Raising money

“The Varsity Spirit Spring Performance at Walt Disney World Resort will be an exciting event! It’s an awesome opportunity for Kevin to meet other cheerleaders and perform in this inaugural event,” says Coach Thompson.

Participating comes at a cost. Kevin has to raise $999 to pay for his uniform, one meal per day, and lodging for three days. He’s also trying to raise enough money for food and transportation and so that three of his family members can attend.

He set up a GoFundMe account for those who would like to invest in his dream. “Any help offered is greatly appreciated,” he says. And while he reaches for his dream, he encourages others to reach for theirs.

“Always think out of the box. Don’t be afraid. Most importantly, encourage yourself!”

Kevin’s mom is his biggest cheerleader (no pun intended). He hopes to receive a college scholarship in the near future. The Disney Spring Performance is a good step in the right direction.

Says Coach Thompson, “We look forward to seeing what great things are in store for his future!”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email