Athlete flips through the lockdown

Junior Danny Maxwell rises to new heights as all-star cheerleader


Joy Bucher

Athletes from Spirit of Vegas pose after competing in Saint George, Utah. From left: Corinne Romo (9) , Aly Garcia (12), Aubrey Bucher (12), Danny Maxwell (11).

Aubrey Bucher, Reporter

The COVID pandemic has caused athletes to “dust over” for the past year. With CCSD athletics nonexistent and Las Vegas sporting events scarce, many athletes have found themselves losing the drive to compete. However, this was not the reality for Silverado junior, Danny Maxwell, an AP student by day and an all-star cheerleader by night.

Currently enrolled in AP Language, AP United States History, and honors core classes, Maxwell has practiced the delicate art of time management. He has learned to make time for work at Chili’s four days a week, hanging out with friends, completing school work, and participating in athletics.      

“I’ve tried a lot of different sports growing up, but the only one that stuck was gymnastics,” Maxwell said.  

Growing up a competitive gymnast for five years at Gymcats, Maxwell was taught the discipline and skills needed to succeed. His gymnastics base gave him the leverage to reach new heights in the world of cheerleading.

“I did one year of school cheer at Silverado but all-star is just a different ball-game. It’s exhilarating,” Maxwell recalled. “I love the rush of adrenaline from competing and satisfaction in hitting a solid stunt.”

Maxwell’s current team, Spirit of Vegas, is coached under the direction of Michael Moreno. Moreno coached the Silverado cheer team from 2017-2018 and has since focused on building his own all-star program up. He regards Maxwell as one of his most valuable athletes.

“Danny is such a hard- working and driven athlete,” Moreno noted. “His improvement in technique and skill level is evident in comparison to where he was two years ago.” 

The pandemic, however, has caused a lot of setbacks within Maxwell’s team and personal training. The beginning of his cheer season was delayed for two months, and his gym was closed for over four months when the pandemic first hit in March of 2020. He was forced to start from ground zero in gaining back lost muscle and getting prepared for the upcoming competition season. He noted that commitment is a huge issue within his team. 

“It was demoralizing that I wasn’t able to do what I love for so long,” Maxwell explained. “Our season is already shortened and now with competitions getting cancelled left and right, we can’t afford to lose an athlete.” 

In addition to cheer practices three days a week, Maxwell is an avid member of EOS Fitness. He has been attending the gym for over three years with goals of increasing his overall muscle mass and explosiveness. This not only empowers Maxwell in one-man stunting and tumbling, but it also allows him to focus on building lifelong healthy habits. 

Maxwell has allowed his health and fitness passions to carry into college.

“I have my eyes set on cheer at the collegiate level,” Maxwell said. “I’d like to participate in a coed competition team that also cheers at games.”   

Maxwell is planning on majoring in sports medicine or kinesiology. From personal experience, he has a keen interest in working with strength training and building back muscle from injury. He is currently open minded in colleges but is leaning more towards a Christian university like Grand Canyon University. 

In addition to cheerleading, Maxwell will be participating in track and field for the upcoming spring season.

“This will be a new sport for me, so I’m going to try and dip my toes in as much as I can,” Maxwell said.