Cedarcrest High School Cheer Squad – dedicated students and talented athletes

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD
When most people think about cheerleaders, their first thoughts are likely described as spirited, cheerful and energetic high school teens.

Although the Cedarcrest High School Cheer Squad does fit that description, what is often not mentioned is their dedication to their studies and their involvement in many other aspects of “high school life.”

These talented and inspiring students not only spend up to eight plus hours each week at cheer practices, they must also balance their time with other school commitments. Many members of Cheer also participate in clubs and activities such as ASB, DECA, National Honor Society, Random Acts of Kindness Club and the FFA at CHS.

Cheer member Kylie Leslie, a senior, is a student representative to the Riverview School Board of Directors, and active ASB participant, has taken seven honors classes, and carries a GPA of 3.91. Kylie shares that she appreciates the way in which her participation in cheerleading allows her to support CHS in so many ways, and how the cheer team truly evokes a family type atmosphere for all those involved.

Junior Savannah Egger expresses her appreciation for the endurance and confidence cheer has personally created for her, stating, “Cheer challenges me to do my best, and has truly helped me to come out of my shell.” Savannah is currently taking a full academic load which includes two AP classes.

Top row (standing) left to right: Megan Jendro (12th), Maddie McFadden (9th), Kaela Gerde (12th), Amanda Korn (10th), Jessica Strong (10th), Ashley Stead (9th), Jessie Rogers (9th), Kylie Leslie (12th), Brittany Tietje (9th). Bottom row left to right: Hailey Hartwell (11th), Abby Tumbleson (9th), Savannah Egger (11th), Nicole Young (10th), Kenzie Nelson (10th).Captains are Kaela Gerde, Savannah Egger, Amanda Korn, and Jessica Strong.Coach-Jackie Boak, assistant coach-Missy Paulsen Courtesy photo
Freshman Maddy McFadden was new to Riverview in 8th grade, and explains how her involvement in cheer has helped her to feel welcomed as the “new kid” and how her experience has helped to create a deeper respect for ALL cheerleaders; as she now knows first- hand the excessive amount of training, workouts and conditioning that go into each week of practice in preparation for their many performances.

Junior Kenzie Nelson enjoys participating in the pre-game excitement, and watching how much support the team and her school receive from the stands filled with parents, students and community members. She is also grateful for the health factor of cheer, explaining that she is in strong physical shape due to the continuous exercise (running, aerobic workouts) involved in their weekly practices. Kenzie also makes time for her other school commitments as a member of the National Honor Society and DECA.

Other activities enjoyed by CHS Cheer Squad members include: Equestrian training, competitions and scholarships, sports medicine classes and events and dance/choreography training.

Cheer coach and mentor Jackie Boak is extremely proud of her squad, stating, “These girls truly exemplify what becoming a strong, and accomplished young woman looks like. On a daily basis I watch them give their all to their training, routines and practices; I see their endurance improve and their confidence grow. We openly discuss the benefits of dealing with conflicts head on, showing respect and compassion for others in the process.”

The girls speak very highly of their coach as well, sharing that she “has their back” in any and all situations. They appreciate her talents, experience and her inspiring leadership. Jackie was a competitive gymnast for 14 years, and is an accomplished college cheer and dance instructor. She encourages them daily with her “can do” attitude, and her unrelenting pride in their efforts and their abilities.

Cedarcrest Principal Clarence Lavarias shares, “Our cheer squad is an outstanding group of young ladies. They not only promote spirit within the school, but they are also tremendous athletes. It takes many hours of hard work and dedication to perfect their craft. Not many people can do what they do.”

In closing Jackie reflects upon the importance of the support these girls receive from each other. She feels fortunate to be a part of such a dedicated and talented group of young women... a.k.a. the 2012-2013 Cedarcrest High School Cheer Squad.

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