As COVID numbers improve, many are cheering the return of high school sports -- except cheerleaders themselves.
The state canceled sideline cheer, saying it's just not safe during the pandemic and spread of COVID-19.
Students and parents in Riverside are rallying over the discrepancy, saying it's just not fair.
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New guidance from the state this week said "sideline cheer, band, drumline or other supporting groups are not allowed."
In the little time left during the school year, students and parents in Riverside gathered, shouting "let us cheer!"
"I’ve been in cheer since 7th grade and to not be able to do it my senior year while other sports get to continue. It’s frustrating," cheerleader Jaiden Pekar said.
Mater Dei High School’s cheer team planned to root on its football players Friday, the first game back.
"I just think its not fair because we can totally be on the sidelines there’s plenty of room," said cheerleader Bailee Cuenca.
The state is not only limiting who’s on the sidelines, but also in the stands. Spectators for youth sports are now limited to just one adult per participant.
"This was maybe the second time they put on their uniforms — it was going to be the first time in front of a crowd —really first time to do anything as a team, aside from practice," Katie Bowers, cheerleading head coach, said.
Parents say all of it is unfair, especially for their cheerleaders, who are absolutely athletes.
"These girls work so hard. I don’t see any other athlete out there throwing 100-pound plus girls in the air with precision and technique to catch them," cheer mom Leann Cuenca said.