“For the first time that anyone remembers, we have had enough talent and drive to make a successful JV team,” said head cheerleading coach, Kimsheree Napiewocki, about Kaiser’s first ever junior varsity cheer competition team. With OIAs around the corner, the JV have been working hard to perfect their routine. They performed at Eastern’s on Oct. 14 where they placed second against six teams.
Although the JV team did not place first, they have come a long way since the season began. “When I first met the girls at the beginning of summer, I knew there was a lot of work that needed to be put in,” JV’s head coach, Brandon Prohaska said. “But as the season progressed, I watched everyone try harder, get stronger, and most importantly become more confident in themselves.” These girls have come a long way with help not only from their head coach but also from their assistant coach, Kaiser competition cheer alumna Kayla Nakamura. “Cheer has been a part of my life since I was seven and I wanted to come back to help the team that made me who I am today,” she said.
Despite many tears and injuries, the JV team pushes forward together. Sophomore Jaymie Jacobs and freshman Bridget Perkins who have been cheering for most of their lives agree that school cheer brings everyone together as a team and creates strong connections. “Improvements that have formed throughout this season would probably be coming together as a team and building a better bond as friends and teammates,” said Jacobs. The new girls on the team share similar sentiments. “I have formed such close bonds with everyone on the team because of how much time we spend together,” new competitive cheer member, sophomore Madeline Abrass said. “Through the season, I have learned that the routine takes not only harder skills but a lot of time and work from everyone.”
Although it is important to perform well as an individual, working together is a main focus in competitive cheer. “One team, one dream,” says the motto for Varsity and JV teams. Girls from both teams agree that there are many different personalities within the team, but in the end it comes down to one idea: to make it as far as they can, knowing they did their best. Sophomore Reagan Wood, one of four captains of the JV team, said “Most people see cheer as girls who just smile and call out cheers, but over this season I have really come to notice the dedication and hard work the cheer life takes.” Besides this, Wood said the moments she will never forget are the ones right before stepping on the mat when everyone comes together as a team and encourages each other to go through each stunt and motion to the best of their ability. “Teamwork is not about glorious crowning acts,” she said. “It’s about keeping your peers focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it.”