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The characters we’re rooting for on Netflix’s ‘Cheer’

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They’ve got spirit, yes they do!

The cast of Netflix’s hit new docuseries “Cheer” has won the hearts of Netflix bingers whose only exposure to the world of competitive cheerleading until last week had been the 2000 cult classic “Bring It On.”

Now, audiences are holding their breath before a full-out tumbling performance, and celebrating when an underdog gets “on mat” — the lingo used when a cheerleader gets to perform at the Collegiate National Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Cheerleaders at Navarro College, a two-year junior college in the small town of Corsicana, Texas, train for Daytona with a level of intensity reserved usually for elite Navy Seal teams. 

Head coach Monica Aldama, who’s been leading Navarro for 24 years, has become an unexpected favorite among fans of the show. The MBA-turned-champion-maker says even she was surprised at the path her life took. 

“I thought I was going to be the CEO of some big company in New York on Wall Street,” she says in Episode 2. “[But] I took everything I learned in business school and used it to build a program.”

There are no high-paying contracts with a professional team waiting on the other side of Navarro students’ wins — though you can now contract the students to give you a personal pep rally on Cameo, starting at $15. But in the spirit of “Cheer,” why not dedicate your life to competitive motivating? Here are the gymnast-cum-performers (and their coach) whom we’re rooting for on “Cheer.” 

- The characters we're rooting for on Netflix's 'Cheer'
Courtesy of Netflix

Age: 47
Position: Head Coach
Cheer philosophy: Known in cheer circles as “the queen,” Aldama is the George Patton of the peppy sport. Beloved, feared and respected by the students, she demands flawless stunts such as baskets and pyramids. Aldama’s credo is “you keep going until you get it right, and then you keep going until you can’t get it wrong.”

- The characters we're rooting for on Netflix's 'Cheer'
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Age: 18
Position: Stunter
Cheer philosophy: What Harris might lack in tumbling skills he makes up for in mat talk, a constant stream of motivation during practice, which he delivers from the sidelines. Harris is unfailing in his positive energy, screaming “You’re not tired!”, “You’re gorgeous!” and “Work!” throughout routines. “I instantly smile when I hear his laugh,” Aldama says on the show. “He’s so fun to watch.” Whether or not Harris — who lost his mother and was championed by his local cheer community through a tough childhood — will make mat is a major thread on “Cheer” . . . and on Twitter.

- The characters we're rooting for on Netflix's 'Cheer'
instagram

Age: 20
Position: Flyer/Tumbler
Butler is a “cheer-lebrity” and influencer with 909K followers online. And she and her sister already have a bikini line. Butler came up on YouTube teaching fellow athletes how to become flexible, all while trying to withstand the pressure of her own helicopter parents. “If I have a thousand good comments, and one bad one, I’ll always harp on the bad one,” says worked-to-the-bone Butler.

Mackenzie “Sherbs” Sherburn

- The characters we're rooting for on Netflix's 'Cheer'
instagram

Age: 20
Position: Top Girl/Flyer
Cheer philosophy: Sherbs is a jack of all trades. At the end of Episode 3, Sherburn is dropped while practicing the intricate and dangerous pyramid stunt. On top of the 50 pushups the Bulldogs endure every time a cheerleader mistakenly falls to the floor, the team is panicked about who can take her place in Daytona. Says Sherburn, “It takes a lot for someone to step up and actually be able to do the routine.”

- The characters we're rooting for on Netflix's 'Cheer'
Courtesy of Netflix

Age: 21
Position: Stunter/Tumbler
Cheer philosophy: Growing up in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, with three brothers, Marshall says his sexuality always made him feel alienated. “[My brothers] would make me feel like I wasn’t a part of the family . . . at first they speculated until I actually said, ‘Yeah, I am [gay], and what about it?’ ” The elite tumbler says he was a reluctant but talented football player in high school who would tumble after his touchdowns. After he saw a cheerleading video, confident Marshall was hooked. “It looked like they were having fun.”

- The characters we're rooting for on Netflix's 'Cheer'
Courtesy of Netflix

Age: 20
Position: Tumbler
Cheer philosophy: “I didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel until Monica gave me this chance,” says Brumback, a master tumbler with a troubled past. The bottle blonde is an unmatched talent without trying much, making her a bit of a black sheep within the tightknit team. “People thought I was cocky because I didn’t care to learn tumbler girls before me,” says Brumback. “If they were more helpful, maybe I would want to learn more.”



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