True Life: Ally Doles

January 26, 2010 — by Denise Lin

At age 8, Ally Doles loved the view from the bleachers next to the high school football field, where she could witness the nimble maneuvers, spins and twirls of cheerleaders in the heat of the football game, fully illuminated in fluorescent glory. Amid the whistle blowing and touchdowns, spirited chants echoed as Doles watched spellbound, as the girls threw one of their own in the air and caught her perfectly. By the end of the game, when all the cheering had died down, something had become quite clear: She was going to be a cheerleader.

Doles, now a senior, has come a long way from the 8-year-old watching from the bleachers.
She not only takes part in football games and cheer competitions, but goes to a separate cheerleading class and helps coach younger athletes outside of school as well.

"I take tumbling classes outside of school, which is when I do flips and stuff," said Doles. "I've definitely improved on that throughout the years."

But the dangerous stunts have come at a price. Up until now, Doles has broken her thumb, dislocated her shoulder and still suffers from a permanently fractured spine.

"We were running through a routine and one of my stunters was falling, so I curved underneath it," she said. "As I did that I heard a huge snap and it was instant pain; the muscles around my lower spine completely swelled up."

Her injury is something she needs to deal with on a daily basis.

"It's not like tons of pain all the time," said Doles, "but it definitely acts up every once in a while."

The surgery to fix her spine would be very risky and could possibly result in paralysis, so Doles just tries to deal with it the best she can, because "it's either that or not cheer."

She has been cheerleading for 10 or 11 years now, and still enjoys the thrill of competition, as well as the great energy.

"I like being really spirited," Doles said. "I like being loud."

She loves the challenges of tumbling and stunting, which is when the girls are thrown in the air.

"I'm a base so I hold the other girls in the air," she said. "I love throwing [them] in the air and trying new things with that."

Doles puts her skills to the test outside of school, too. In fact, she recently had tryouts for cheer camp of a well-known cheer organization, Universal Cheerleaders Association, known as UCA, whose staff asked her to work for them next summer.

As for life after high school, cheerleading is still in the picture.

"No matter what college I go to, I think I'm going to tryout for the cheer team," said Doles.

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On March 27, members of the Air National Guard converted the Santa Clara County Convention Center to a temporary federal facility for about 250 coronavirus patients. The center is to house those who have tested positive for the virus, but don't require intensive in-hospital care. More information can be found through the local news. Photo courtesy of Randy Vazquez of the Bay Area News Group.

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