Your 1988-89 Nashoba Hockey Cheerleaders

Your 1988-89 Nashoba Hockey Cheerleaders

I’ve been laughing to myself lately because of all the cheerleader talk. For some really odd reason, cheerleading has come up in several conversations I’ve had lately. One actually involved a work conversation I was having in regards to whether or not the query “cheerleaders” on a search website could be construed as a person searching for porn online. Intent of that search query has a huge range of intent. Another cheerleading poke happened yesterday as I was scanning Perez Hilton and came across a post about Dakota Fanning and how’s she’s a cheerleader in high school now. For real.

By the way, I love Perez Hilton. I am totally NOT the guy who reads People or US magazine. I don’t care about celebrities and what they do, who they birth, what diseases they have, how fat they are or whatever. But I love Perez Hilton. Why? Because he doctors up the photographs. That’s it. It makes me laugh. Exhibit A here.

Anyway, it all got me thinking about high school hockey. I used to play in the summer, fall and spring for various teams around the area like Leominster or North Middlesex. Then in the winter we all went to our various high school teams. This made it kinda fun because I knew a couple of guys on almost every team I played against in high school. We’d trade notes on who was disliked on each team in case we got the opportunity to throw an extra hit or something. So if there was a guy on North Middlesex who was universally disliked by his team, the North Middlesex guys I knew would tell me and I’d try to put in some extra digs on that guy during games. They did the same. It was marginally evil, I admit. But not undeserving.

Anyway, the cheerleaders. What I heard universally from other teams players was that the Nashoba Regional cheerleaders were the most robotic of them all. I specifically remember one guy saying he suspected the cheerleading coach was a Nazi because our cheerleaders were almost always in perfect unison. The funniest thing ever about this was that just a few weeks ago a guy I play with now told me the same thing! Not the Nazi part, just the robotic part.

I never really noticed that one way or another. I was always surprised that cheerleaders would even want to cheer for hockey. I mean, it was usually pretty cold in there. I actually couldn’t believe it when our cheerleaders came to our game in Winchendon – an outdoor rink – in January. Bless their hearts.

Regardless, the point of my post today is my total awkwardness back then. You see, if we won a game or played well, we’d be allowed to sit with the cheerleaders on the bus on the way home. I’m not sure how the rest of the team felt about this, but I was mostly mortified. Not because I didn’t like them or whatnot – they all seemed relatively normal and nice – but because I was so painfully awkward around girls back then. I never knew what to say or do. If my memory serves me right, that resulted in me being a little quiet when we sat with the girls. I wonder if they thought I was just a quiet guy or lacked personality? If they only knew…..!

Each cheerleader had “their own player” (they’d decorate your locker or whatnot) and usually you’d sit with the cheerleader on the bus. I honestly don’t remember who mine was each year. However, there’s a sophomore year memory here – the cheerleader who actually asked me out on a date just days after she’d broken up with another guy on the team. Now, there were times I was a pretty dumb kid, but not that time. I wasn’t going anywhere near that even though she was a popular, pretty girl and someone I always liked as a person. Of course, I was mortified. Had no idea what to say in response. I think I just got her phone number and then avoided her as much as possible, even though I would have totally dated her if it wasn’t for that little issue about the guy on our team.

Another totally embarrassing, awkward episode: Junior year. I was looking at a cheerleader about 40 feet away who was trying to say something to me or maybe someone else around me. I then proceeded to try to eat a Snickers bar with the wrapper still on. Of course, she broke down laughing and I probably turned all shades of red.

Then there’s the other one – the one I had a crush on from like 7th grade to 12th. I doubt you’ll ever get that name out of me, so don’t even try. And no, she’s not in the picture. I guess she missed picture day.

Ah, the memories.