Area cheer squad appears on ‘Ellen,’ leaves with $20,000 check
The Navarro College Cheer Team, which is featured in the Netflix docuseries “Cheer,” has something more to cheer about after Ellen DeGeneres surprised the team with a $20,000 check during an appearance on her daytime talk show Thursday.
“We know you have a lot of money you have to raise to compete each year so our friends at Shutterfly want to cheer you on with a check for $20,000, Ellen said.
The squad members who were gathered around Ellen for the close of the segment burst into cheers of a different kind, many of them jumping around and hugging each other as the oversized check was presented.
The performance came after Ellen sat down with three squad members, two males and a female, and their head coach, Monica Aldama, to talk about the popular series which follows the group as they pursue its 14th national championship since 2000.
“I absolutely loved it,” Ellen said when introducing the show.
“I binge-watched the entire thing.”
During the interview, Ellen joked with the team about the size of Corsicana, home to the college, and in true Aldama fashion she quickly jumped to the defense of her squad.
“We practice a lot and we have a busy schedule so I think it doesn't matter that it's a small town because if we’re not practicing they’re in school or at a game so they have plenty to do,” Aladama said patting the male cheerleader next to her on the leg.
The two male cheerleaders who appeared, La’Darius Marshall and Jeremiah “Jerry” Harris, both whom are gay, spoke with Ellen about how they feel with their personal lives out there for the public to see, some parts which even their own families did not know.
“When I got through with the show, my mom and them were learning stuff about me that we did not know. She called me after and said ‘D, I’m so proud of you’ and ‘I never knew how strong you really were or what you were going through until I saw it on camera.’”
“After the show, I got away from all my chains. I felt like I was being held down. I felt like I was finally free. I could fly.”