Several changes are being made to guarantee this year’s cheerleading team’s success, preparing them for both football and competition season.
Changes include two new coaches – Aubrey Haverkamp and Emily Welch.
Varsity Cheerleader Shannon Rosing said that they are off to a great start.
“They’ve created a positive and comfortable environment for us to learn new things and have fun,” Rosing said. ‘The team is excited to have a Coach Welch joining us this year because she really seems to know what she’s doing. It makes us feel more comfortable in taking her advice. I think both coaches are going to make this year unforgettable.”
The squad will compete at the TAPPS state competition in December as well as Nationals.
“We have been working really hard to put together an amazing routine,” Rosing said. “The team is a lot smaller this year, although I think it has made us all closer. We’ve increased the number of workouts compared to last year and we’ve been working really hard to be physically prepared for our competition.”
The squad also plans on being more involved in the school community.
“Cheer is going to support football, basketball, volleyball, and soccer at both home and away games,” Rosing said. “Soccer games have not been something we have participated in in previous years, but the whole team is looking forward to it. Our athletes are also involved in a lot of the schools charities such as this year’s Peanut Butter Drive. We will be holding a special assembly to commemorate all the hard work the students have put into providing the less fortunate with a meal to come home to every day.”
Varsity Captain Madison Meek plans to further the team’s success in creative new ways and is working very hard to put together a winning routine.
“Now that we are competing this year, I have been looking through the rule book and checking what stunt and tumbling skills we are able to do,” Meek said. “I am constantly watching different cheer videos to get ideas as well. Then, to actually put a routine together, I will meet with Co-Captain McKenna Denton and we will do formations, stunts, and tumbling. For the most part it’s all done on paper which we bring to practice to teach the rest of the team.’
Meek’s insight as captain has really helped shape this year’s team.
“As captain, I try to make sure that all the girls’ ideas are expressed in some way,” Meek said. “I also will meet with girls one-on-one if they need to work on cheers or feel like they need help with certain aspects of the routine. For me, my main goal as captain is to make sure that the team feels comfortable with the routines and that their ideas are expressed as many ways as possible so that we can work together as a team and learn to communicate effectively with each other.”
She also has many plans to help guarantee the future success of the athletes.
“Now that we practice every day, I think in general the team will be able to continue to grow and be more successful,” Meek said. “One thing that I hope to start doing is filming our routines in practice and then finding time to watch them on a projector as a team in order to critique each other and find aspects of the routine that we need to clean and make sharper.”
Coach Aubrey Haverkamp is certain the team is ready to face any challenge thrown their way.
“I think we’re going to go a long way in building motivation and camaraderie between the team members,” Haverkamp said. “I have high expectations, but only because I know the team can reach high levels of success.”
Haverkamp said her job is keeping the team motivated, organized and on task.
“The captains lead practice, but sometimes if something isn’t working I step in and take charge at that point,” Haverkamp said. “I do a lot of planning and a lot of learning. If I don’t know a routine backwards and forwards just as well as the girls do, I can’t make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing at every count.”
Haverkamp has found being a coach a really rewarding experience.
“I’ve formed relationships with girls that I wouldn’t otherwise teach in a completely separate setting from the classroom,” Haverkamp said. “I get to see these girls grow as people, as cheerleaders, and as teammates. I get to work with so many other coaches that I wouldn’t otherwise know as well, including Mrs. Ralston and Mr. Browning and our awesome football coaches, especially Coach KJ and Coach Sawyer. I feel so supported at JPII. I know I have a lot of learning and growing to do, but it’s added so much joy to my life to lead such a talented, smart, and hardworking group of girls.”