WC expands Cheer Squad in 2016-17

 
Mia Heck knows a thing or two about helping reboot cheerleading programs.

The Weatherford College sophomore-to-be was a member of the WC cheerleading squad this year and will be a captain next season. 

WC Cheer Team 2016-17This season was a transition year under first-year coach Liz Osina as the program has gone away from competitive cheer to focusing on athletic events and some community service.

"The same thing happened at Peaster and they brought it back my freshman year," Heck said. "I was excited then and I'm just as excited now as we move forward."

Osina announced 15 cheerleaders for the 2016-17 school year, in addition to a mascot to be named. That nearly doubles the eight they had in the program this year.

"It's nice to have these new faces," Heck said.

 
PHOTO:  - Back Row (L to R):  Fidel Vasquez Mesa, Cierra Christopher, Rubin Perez, Bailey Brown, Colton Scroggins
  - Middle Row (L to R):  Makayla Cantu, Kaylyn Howerton, Olivia Winchester, Raelee Hall
  - Front Row (L to R):  Mia Heck-Captain, Destinee Shahan, Bryah Montoya, Mikki Solkema-Captain
  - Not pictured:  Brenyn Anothayanotha and Andrew Nadin

"Even though they're not competing, they want to take advantage of what Weatherford College has to help them get started in college and college cheering," Osina said. "A lot of them want to cheer at the university level, and my job is to help them get ready. It's just like basketball when a player comes to a junior college before going on to a four-year college or university.”

Speaking of basketball, it was Lady Coyotes Coach and Athletic Director Bob McKinley who stepped up and made a big push to save the program. After it was announced there would no longer be competitive cheer, McKinley said the cheerleaders are still a necessity for games, inspiring the crowd and players.

"We're going to have 16 people involved in athletics that we wouldn't have if the program was canceled," McKinley said. "From a motivational standpoint, they are great for the people in the stands, and the people in the stands motivate the team."

Osina said when a game is close, cheerleaders can actually make a difference.

"Their main purpose is to be good ambassadors for Weatherford College, motivate the crowds and energize the teams," Osina said.

"Bob stepped up and said the cheerleaders are a tradition. Thanks to Coach McKinley and our President, Dr. Kevin Eaton, that tradition is still alive."

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Bailey Brown, a sophomore-to-be from Ponder and member of this season's squad, is a big believer in tradition. In fact, it was a family tradition that led her to becoming a college cheerleader.

"My mom was a college cheerleader, and so was my grandma," she said. "It touched my heart when I would hear them talking about how much they enjoyed it.

"And this year was fun, but now we're going to have a lot more people, so we can have even more fun and reach out to a lot more people."

The 2016-17 squad will once again include a few males, something missing from this season.

"Having boys will make a big difference. We can do more stunts," Brown said.

"I heard from my coach in high school about the program," said incoming freshman Fidel Vasquez Meza of Azle. "I feel like I have aligned myself with something special."

Mikki Solkema, a sophomore-to-be from Weatherford, will also be a captain next season. She said her main goal for the coming year is to help guide the team to a new place and show the WC administration the squad is grateful for their support.

"I'd like to personally thank Bob McKinley for believing in us and helping us," she said. "I'm really excited for this upcoming year and getting to lead this team in greatness and spirit as we cheer on our Coyotes to victory."

Heck echoed those thoughts.

"Coach McKinley has gone above and beyond to help my teammates and me, so I am more than ready to do the same for him and his athletes," she said.

"It means so much to be a part of this program and to help keep it going," Solkema said. "Our job is to inspire. It's kind of in our name, to lead people."
 

2016-17 WEATHERFORD COLLEGE CHEERLEADERS
NAME

CLASS

HIGH SCHOOL

Mia Heck, Captain Sophomore Peaster
Mikki Solkema, Captain Sophomore Weatherford
Bailey Brown
Sophomore Ponder
Destinee Shahan

Sophomore

Woodson
Brenyn Anothayanotha
Freshman Shawnee Mission Northwest
Makayla Cantu
Freshman Mineral Wells
Cierra Christopher
Freshman Plano East
Raelee Hall

Freshman

Azle
Kaylyn Howerton
Freshman Weatherford
Fidel Vasquez Mesa
Freshman Azle
Bryah Montoya
Freshman Brewer
Andrew Nadin
Freshman Azle
Ruben Perez
Freshman Azle
Colton Scroggins
Freshman Azle
Olivia Winchester Freshman Granbury
Mascot: TBA

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by Rick Mauch

 

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