Cheer jumps to new heights


Jonny Richardson, Sports Editor

   The crowd cheers, led by the Varsity Cheerleaders as football players on the field run for their fifth touchdown of the night in another Poway victory. Cheer has seen major improvements from previous years where they have run into issues, including last year when they did not have a coach for the beginning of the season.

   “It has definitely been hectic at times, but we have always pulled through, been there for each other, and made it work,” senior captain Hope Islas said.

   Head coach Sandra Reyes and assistant coach Bradie Michel have made a huge difference and have been a big part of the major improvement that students have noticed this year.

   “Coach Reyes and Coach Bradie have been incredible additions to our program,” senior captain Mara Withrow said. “They are so supportive of us and encouraging as we learn new skills.”

   At the beginning of the season, the cheer team trained at Cheer Force, a training center in El Cajon, to help the cheerleaders practice harder.

   Reyes and Michel go over which cheers and stunts go best together and help prepare the cheerleaders for gameday material for Titan Terrors, the school’s student section.

   “Our routines include more jump sequences and challenging stunts and pyramids, rather than just dances. We all push each other to do our best and it really pays off in the end,” Withrow said.

   After the football season, the team will prepare for basketball season in the winter until the competitive cheer competitions begin in the spring, when they face off against other local high schools. Withrow is excited for the future of the cheer program led by the new coaches.

   “I hope it continues to grow and succeed. I hope great leaders and students join the team and do what they love,” Withrow said.

   Reyes shares the excitement for the future of the program, and why shouldn’t she.

   “I am most excited to see each cheerleader continue to develop their skills,” Reyes said. “I know there is big talent on this campus and I am so hopeful for the future of this program!”