Anna DiBona- September 21, 2017
Evan Adelman, a 17 year old boy with down syndrome, has joined the 2017-2018 Middleboro Sachem Cheerleading team. Evan is an outgoing, energetic, cheerful boy that loves to dance and cheer so he decided to try out for his high school cheerleading team. To his surprise, he was accepted to be on the varsity cheerleading team in the fall of 2017.
Down syndrome is a genetic condition that is found in infants when they are first born or when they are still in the womb. Each child inherits 23 chromosomes from each parent when they are developing, in all they inherit 46 chromosomes. A child with down syndrome receives another partial or total 21 chromosome. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. A couple noticeable physical traits that people with down syndrome have are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm, although these physical traits are different for every individual person. Also down syndrome makes everyday things such as reading and writing a struggle because of their brain condition.
In an interview with Paige Crite, a varsity cheerleader, she states that the cheerleading team “Loves having a boy on the team.” She also goes on to say that “Evan’s down syndrome doesn’t make a difference and that it makes the team more unique.” Reece Weaver, another cheerleader that is on Evans team said that Evan “Knows the routine better than anyone else, because he catches on quickly and takes good direction.”
Evan Adelman is said to be dramatic, funny, spirited, and always happy to come to practice even if it’s hard for him according to the team. He enjoys doing flips and stunts with the whole team and when he gets a correction he takes it to heart. One thing that the whole cheerleading team enjoys about Evan is that he brings his own pom pom to every practice that he calls “Pom Pom Adelman.”
Evan also has a personal aid that is usually with him in school that comes to every practice and game to be there to help and support him in whatever way he needs. This way Evan can be more comfortable at practice and is able to have a helping hand if he needs it. Also this means that if Evan is having a rough day then the aid can help him cope with it instead of taking time away from practice.
Evan is also one of the very few cheerleaders with down syndrome that is a male in high school. The ratio between the amount of females born with down syndrome and the amount of males born with down syndrome is 33 to 45. Yet when it comes to cheerleading the ratio of male cheerleaders to female cheerleaders is 2,687 to 125,763 in the united states. There are no given records of a male cheerleader with down syndrome on a high school team, but there are a couple articles on female cheerleaders with down syndrome on a high school cheerleading team. This means that Evans situation is very unique and rare. This means that the Middleboro High School is one of the very first schools to have a male cheerleader with down syndrome be part of their varsity cheerleading team.
This fall of 2017 was and still is Evan Adelmans first season as a varsity cheerleader and he and the team couldn’t be more excited. The team adores “Evan and when he says lines from Camp Rock and tells jokes,” according to varsity cheerleader Paige Crites. Varsity cheerleader Evan Adelman bleeds black and orange, just like all the students at the Middleboro High School!