An open letter to the Junior High Cheer Squad
In the aftermath of the whole Brianna-Tanisha drama I think we need to regroup.
I want to be able to say at least one thing to each of you and I thought that I'd just as well do it this way 1) so I don't forget and 2) because not only do I think it's okay that everyone else know what I say to each of you, it might even be good that they do.
First off, I know this is only JrHi and you may decide that you want to participate in VB, BB, Drill, XC or no sports at all next year, that's your choice, life changes a lot right now- but I'd LOVE to be able to retain each and every one of you- but who knows what parents, schedules (and Varsity Tryouts in the case of 8th graders) will hold. We still should work on being LOUD, being sharp and some other stuff. I have some ideas for how to change practice to do that starting Tuesday. (Don't forget we have another game this Monday)
'Kay, here goes...
Brittany- You have awesome potential, when you're on you're really on, we need to re-teach and review with you and you'd help alot if you can memorize the motion 8-count drill and then work on it on your own all the time.We need to work on your confidence level and your volume. I really hope you stick with cheer and that you like it well enough that you'll work you butt off to stay off the D/F list from now on.
Taryn- You're phenomenal. You're such a natural that it might even make other kids jealous. You're good at this. You're sharp, you can be loud, you have an awesome low pitch. and I bet that you're sturdy and stiff enough to stunt well. I've noticed that you review and practice on your own, you remember chants well enough to be able to teach them, you take initiative by calling chants both at games and you can focus and work durring practice when we need to- all those things are real leadership qualitites. This is why I say, you're good at this. Seriously, if you want to and you apply yourself, you could not only really help our program for the next 5 years, but you're one of the few kids who could probably even get scholarships and cheer in college. We need to challenge you to stay sharp and work hard and not get lazy or complacent. We also need to help you to be a lot louder.
Megan- Girl, you've always been our "Steady-Eddie." Look at pictures of the last 4 seasons and billions of people are in and out because of grades or committment, but you're still there. You're respectful and patient and you'll work when it's time to work instead of screwing around. You know most every chant on our list. That all leads me to believe that Cheer is your thing and you're sticking with it, tryout/parents/grade permitting- if that's so, we need to work on being sharper and getting your energy level up at games. (notice I left you aloan about being louder, but there's that too). I'm serious about you trying mascot whenever you want because everyone else on squad says you're really funny & do a good job- and guess what, you don't have to talk. But we should start working now because all of a sudeden there's competition. Chelsea still wants it, if he ever got his grades up so would Bradley- Brett may want it back and if her parents let her so might Kaylie, not to mention Dan Rose and Mike Wingrove and I have to warn ya, that Kyle Ahart is awesome.
Sasha- You have school spirit oosing out your pores. No one else wears as much purple in as crazy of ways as you do. I wanted you for cheer, I nagged you and finally I got ya. You're fun and funy, you're creative and smart. I like you well enough that if you must leave to play volleyball &/or basketball I'll let you go and try really hard not to nag you more or make you feel too guilty, but if you want to stick with cheer I want to help you get the most out of it and not just take you're talent for granted. Sure you've got leadership up the wazzoo, but we have to work on you not becoming bossy. We also have to make sure you don't just sit and direct 7th graders, but actually work and get the most out of every practice. We need to work on getting you sharper and louder if you're going to make it through Varsity Tryouts. You know everything you need to know, but it doesn't come always come out. We need your fun and your ideas in either Student Council &/or Cheer so we have to keep you positive and we ought to tap into those ideas instead of taking them for granted.
Christine- I am really proud that you're grades/math aptitude are pushing you academically. I'm proud that you're as involved/committed to music as you are even though we really don't have the most exeplary music programs in the world either at the elementary or MS/HS levels. I appreciate your Mom's wanting grades to come first. Be all that as it may, I also admire and appreciate how seriously you took cheer, especially last summer when I sent you a DVD and you taught yourself SO much! I will try to keep you on my email & mailing lists. Don't be afraid of Varsity tryouts, but to be aware that judges do look for high energy, sharpness, and volume- so if/when you have any free time at all, keep working, keep practicing, focus on precision. Know chants well enough to teach them.
Kenzie- I'm so sorry about your back. I've had lots of cheerleaders over the years with scoliosis and other back issues. In lots of ways cheer can aggrivate it, but it lots of ways cheer was easier for those girls than other sports. I would LOVE for you to still be able to come to practice even if you can't work as hard as everyone else & have to take it & even if you're not able or allowed to cheer at games (there's only 2-3 left anyway.) I know you're the type who likes VB, BB, & Track but you did a great job last year and did pretty good this year too (when you rememberd the chants and weren't dealing with back pain).
All of you- Please keep in mind & encourage 6th graders you know who would be good. Please don't be mean or rude to Brianna on purpose, please don't trash talk her or Tanisha/Caitlin/Kelsey. Please let Tanisha/Caitlin/Kelsey feel like they'll be welcomed back as Eighth graders- so long as they can handle being mature enough to be more responsible and focus and not fight or get so into drama. IF (big if) Jessica or someone else wants to practice durring Track season, please stay positive and work at being able to cooperate and get along with others (there will ALWAYS be SOMEONE like Brianna- that's just the way life is.) and Finally- Please keep in mind the Morningside University Mustang Cheer Clinic this summer. It's just one day and just $25- $35 if you want a t-shirt, it's usually in July. It will make you all a ton better and will be a lot of fun.
I guess that's it. Tuesday we have a lot to talk about. I'll see you then if I don't see you for at least part of the game Monday. Thank you each for working so hard, taking Cheer so serious and sticking with it as long as you have.
I'm proud of you,
Friday, January 20, 2006
An open letter to the Junior High Cheer Squad