Saturday, December 19, 2009

Spirit Stick

If you remember me telling you a little bit about the origins and purpose of the Spirit Stick (Lawrence Herkmier and the NCA, etc.), you'd recall that awarding a spirit stick is not so much about skills and conditioning as it is about... well, SPIRIT.

There might be people who are better cheerleaders in that their moves are more accurate or more sharp, or they may be capable of more stunts or tumbling, or they may know more chants- but the spirit-stick recipient is the person who perhaps has the most positive attitude, the most supportive of their squad-mates, attempts the most direct crowd-encouragement, or if nothing else, they put forth the most effort (remember the formula e/a= s effort divided by ability equals success). So yes, it occasionally might go to someone who shows the most improvement. It's also important to remember that if you're not getting the spirit stick, that doesn't mean you aren't doing an awesome job.

Here are some of the qualities I will be looking for each game-

First, from our mission statement:
Positive, Committed Leaders stirring-up spirit, building excellence & character

    * Who remains positive the whole game?
    * Who demonstrates the most commitment?
    * Shows leadership (managing, facilitating and setting an example- not JUST directing)
    * Stirs-up school spirit (in crowd, team, and within the squad)
    * Strives to improve
    * and has personal integrity, principles and character

Those are pretty subjective, I admit, I can't see into your soul, after all, so I look for what's a lot easier to see. Things like:

    * School Spirit
    * Sportsmanship
    * Energy
    * Expression
    * Encouraging/supportive

And, I hope you'll read the posts I make about John Wooden's Pyramid of Success, because some of his"bricks" also embody the meaning of the spirit stick:

    * Friendship
    * Loyalty
    * Cooperation
    * Enthusiasm
    * Self-Control
    * Team Spirit

I will be awarding our spirit stick on a weekly basis. Winners will receive it each Monday and are responsible for returning it the following Friday before the game. They're also responsible (of course) for not letting it touch the ground. That's not actually about bad luck- it's symbolic of the fact that you should always keep your spirit up!

Yes, I welcome your input, but no, it's not a democracy, it's definitely a coachocracy. I want to hear who you all think deserves it. I especially want to hear from past recipients, but I do reserve the final word.

The first week I genuinely was watching to see who was smiling the most often. It may be ironic that other people were giving Nina a hard time about forgetting to smile. I guess in a sense they all share in her spirit stick. All I know is that I felt like she did a good job overall, particularly considering how insecure she's been about not getting things right. Were other people better over all? Maybe so, but remember- the spirit stick isn't about being best, it's about spirit.

This second week, I am proud to announce that the spirit stick goes to Melissa. Melissa smiled a lot more this game than the last three (maybe that means she's getting more confident). I was really impressed with how much louder she was too- which is no small thing for those who know her.

I don't believe that the NCA founder and inventor of the "Herkie" jump meant for the spirit stick to be a mere consolation prize. I think he'd agree that being positive, having good sportsmanship, and encouraging others is more important in cheerleading than impressive stunts, choreographed routines, or sharp moves and jumps.

    "The spirit stick got its start at a camp at the University of Redlands in California. We had a squad out there who cheered for the other groups and were full of spirit, but they had almost no talent. So, I decided they had to have some recognition because their great attitude was just as important as skill! I broke a little stick off a tree and awarded them the 'spirit stick' for their unusual spirit. Then we started doing this at all the camps, awarding the spirit stick to the groups who showed the most spirit each day, and whoever won it at the end of the week got to take it home with them. The spirit stick is the most outstanding award you can get. It's the symbol for spirit." ~Lawrence Herkimer

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2009-10 MS Basketball Squad

Jennifer, Melinda, Marissa, Fernanda, and Kelsi

Order a Cheer Shirt

Support BV Cheerleading

by Ted Mallory, BV Cheer Coach

Order a BV Cheer tee-shirt and support cheerleading at Boyer Valley.
We need warm-ups, poms, and a new mascot costume.
Shirts are just $12 for S, M, L, & XL, $14 for XXL and XXXL
Submit your order to Mr. Mallory. SHirts will arrive in January.


We finally got all 7 squad members together at a game. Now, if we can get all seven plus Quincy and a mascot at a home game! THAT would be a trick.

Our first time stunting at a game!

Can you believe Cammey can kick like that??!

Senior/Veteran Christine helped out with the game evaluation

Wishing for snow, the girls decide to form a snowflake during practice last week.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Quincy's Angels

The following story ran in the Thursday, December 10, 2009 Dunlap Reporter

Boyer Valley freshman Quincy Baker has a lot of school spirit. He's really wanted to participate in school activities and be a part of a team just like his older brother, Senior Colton Baker. But Quincy is a special needs student with a lot of limitations. It isn't always easy for him to communicate, he's endured hundreds of surgeries in his short lifetime and because he's so slim, a lot of people assume that he's more frail than he is.

For a long time it looked like school sports was just out of the question. But part way through football season last fall, Quincy had three "angels" intervene for him. Senior Football Cheerleaders Sasha Meggers, Meckensie Jensen and Christine Harriott realized that Quincy's school spirit could be put to good use. All three girls had served at different times as helpers or baby sitters for "Q" as they call him. Sasha was practically a sister to him, having grown up as next door neighbors with the Bakers in Dow City.

The three Seniors talked to their Coach, Ted Mallory, and Quincy's Mom, Paula Ritterbush Eickholt and the next thing he knew, Quincy was part of the squad. Meggers, Jensen, and Harriott had been cheering for Boyer Valley since the seventh grade, so Quincy's been exposed to every cheer they have and the girls had often taught them to him. They joke about being his girlfriends, but whenever he se's a photograph of any of the three girls in a yearbook or on Coach Mallory's desk, he lights up and points to his squad-mates.

Qunicy cheered at home football games in 2009. He plans on cheering at home basketball games this year too, although because of the inherent danger of balls, players and referees, he will be in the stands directly beside the squad. At the season opener in Missouri Valley, on of the cheerleaders was actually hit in the head with a ball. Coach Mallory frequently has to dodge colissions and crashes when he takes pictures for the yearbook and the Reporter.

Quincy's three angels have moved on from cheerleading. Harriott will graduate at semester, Jensen is putting more hours in at her job in Soldier and Meggers has been focusing on being Captain of the Boyer Valley Drill Squad- which just brought home their fifth first place State rating for pom in a row. Even though they're moving on, the girls still have plans for Quincy. They want to take him to his first prom.

This year's basketball Cheer squad features four Sophomores, two Freshmen and a Junior. Only Sophomore Cammey Hast has cheer in high school before, though another four have cheered in junior high. Mallory has been impressed with their energy, enthusiasm and initiative at practices.

"If they can push past their stage fright," he says "they will be incredibly effective at raising spirit at games." He thinks they've got a lot of skill and have a ton of potential.

Mallory has coached both middle school and high school cheer at Boyer Valley since 2001. Before moving to Iowa, he coached at Los Angeles Lutheran Jr/Sr High School in Sylmar, California. He lives in Charter Oak with his wife Bethany and their three daughters.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Congratulations BV Drill Team

5th place in Hip Hop, 1st place in Pom for the 5th year in a row, and Best Audio Recording.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Just for fun

A yearbook staffer wanted me to shoot a pair of flying poms for one of the MS Cheer pages. I played with it in Photoshop some. Kinda fun.

Season Opener

Here's some shots from last night's game in Missouri Valley. I was having some troubles with my camera setting- and with gunk on the lens, so I didn't do nearly as well as I usually manage to. I'll try to do better next time.

These girls did pretty good for a first game- I couldn't believe how nervous they were , they'd been doing SO good in practices. Still, there was hardly any "dead-air" time because they kept on cheering. I'd say they were a little more comfortable by the 2nd half of the boys' game than when they started the girl's game. I should be a great season, because they have so much potential and, as you can see- they're having a lot of fun together too. What more could you ask?