TKA’s First Male Cheerleader


The King’s Academy first male cheerleader, Mason Shipman, with the rest of the cheer team at the Competition Cheer State Championship. (Photo Credit: FHSAA)

Bailey Durkin, Contributor

As many know, this year is the fiftyeth anniversary of The King’s Academy, a year full of recognizing the history of the school’s success. Throughout the years we have achieved many state championships and national recognitions, but we have also been breaking many barriers. A barrier that should be noted recently is, sophomore, Mason Shipman becoming our first ever male cheerleader to compete at any level for The King’s Academy.

In all fifty years of The King’s Academy’s existence, there has never been a male join the Competition Cheer Team, so this 2019-2020 school year when Mason decided to try out, he left many shocked. Mason is a multi-sport athlete you may have seen competing in sports such as lacrosse and bowling, and now he has thrown cheer into the mix as well. Our competition cheer team is not easy, to say the least. The amount of athletic strain and hard work this team puts in is truly insane. The cheer team practices almost every day of the week and typically includes around a ten hour practice on Saturday’s showing how much their sport really takes over one’s schedule. Within these practices, athletes are faced with many tiring physical activities helping them build muscle, grow their flexibility, and have a high cardio endurance which allows them to create complex cheer routines. For a first time cheerleader to make the team is truly remarkable considering the grueling commitment it takes to be a cheerleader. For Mason to enter this mainly female dominated sport, and become such an important asset to the team, is truly inspiring.

While Mason, who is an extremely hardworking individual, learning how to excel in cheer, with no previous experience, helped to contribute to winning a national title. In additon, he serves as a light to those around him. Mason is a true Christ follower providing love to those who cross his path. As Colossians 3:23 states “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men.” This verse truly reflects what Mason stands for. Even when times get tough, Mason has stood strong in his faith and reminded us all what it means to be a God loving individual with such a strong work ethic. Along with that Mason constantly provides kindness to many and raises the spirits of people around him. These attributes make him such a loved individual all around South Florida. As the years progress and eventually we reach a seventy five or one hundred year celebration of our school, Mason will leave a legacy that will always be remembered. He will not just be remembered as our school’s first male cheerleader, but will be remembered for his love to those around him, his extreme work ethic, and his example of truly being a godly young man. These are qualities that  we can all strive for and can even follow Mason’s example.