Even cheerleaders need fans, and one dad from Yorkville, Virginia, took his support for his daughter to the next level.
Rolland “Hekili” Holland, aka “Cheer Dad,” high-kicked his way into internet stardom after enthusiastically performing his daughter Mackenzi’s cheerleading routine from the stands last Friday during a high school football game. Another parent, Scott Willard, captured the performance and posted it to Facebook; within a week, it’s received more than 3.7 million views.
“This guy right here needs to go viral. By far CHEER DAD OF THE YEAR,” Willard captioned the video. “This dude rocks!!!! GO YORK FALCONS!!!!”
Neither Holland nor Willard thought the video would go viral, but they’re glad it did. The men told Today Parents that the deaths of three high schoolers had recently rocked their community and that folks needed a reason to smile. “People have reached out saying this was what the community needed and that it provided a bit of hope and help with overcoming that sadness,” Holland said.
Holland apparently has a history of going all-out to support his daughters, who range in age from five to 15. (He referred to himself as “extra” in an interview with the Today.) So it came as no surprise to Mackenzi when Holland asked her to teach him the full “fight song” routine ahead of a Friday’s big game. She doesn’t seem to mind that her dad puts himself out there either, telling the Washington Post she “smiled the entire time” he danced from the stands.
While Cheer Dad is now an American hero (quite literally; he’s also in the Air Force), a quick internet search found he’s not alone in his outward support. Two weeks ago, high schooler Nina Ricchiuto tweeted a video of her dad performing a cheer routine with her on the sideline. He even grabbed a megaphone and did a toe touch.
“Since 5th grade my dad would stand up in the stands to cheer along with us during his favorite cheer so for senior night he got to cheer by my side,” she wrote. “So much love (as you can tell he’s really good!).”
Since 5th grade my dad would stand up in the stands to cheer along with us during his favorite cheer so for senior night he got to cheer by my side. So much love❤️❤️😂(as you can tell he’s really good!) pic.twitter.com/RxfRa8QmfM
— Nina Ricchiuto (@nina_ricchiuto) October 26, 2019