In 2020, Netflix released a show about a ragtag team of competitive cheerleaders from a small-town Texas junior college under the direction of a tough but loving coach. Cheer became an instant cultural sensation. But as quickly as the cast’s popularity soared, scandals began to mount. In this episode of the Story, Sarah Hepola recounts the challenges of covering the roller-coaster reputation of Navarro cheer for Texas Monthly‘s May 2024 cover feature: “What ‘Cheer’ Led to: How Viral Fame Upended Monica Aldama’s Life.”