By Anika Matsumoto
Beaverton High School welcomed spirited laughter as well as respectful attentiveness as it invited its community back into its halls. As students and faculty all gathered together in the gymnasium for the school’s annual welcome back assembly, a group of uniformed cheerleaders anxiously waited while the countdown to their first performance at Beaverton commenced.
Beaverton cheer showed seemingly comfortable expressions in front of everyone when they came out for their first performance. They slayed the floor and had the crowd on their feet for a round of applause; no one guessed that their program is mostly made up of underclassmen, has two seniors, and a new coach.
Last year, the team graduated nine cheerleaders. That made them lose a lot of talent and cut the varsity team in half. This year, seniors Clara Anne Gulsvig and Kylee Rench are the two returning varsity captains. They had previously been on varsity and are now outnumbered by a squad that consists of mostly underclassmen who are new to the program.
Concerning the lack of upperclassmen, Sophomore Hailey Howard shared, “Having just two seniors, I take on a lot more leadership because it’s my second year on varsity and there are a bunch of new girls to teach.” This makes the team bond well as the different grades mesh, learn, and teach together which makes for fantastic bonding opportunities.
Beaverton cheer welcomed a bunch of newcomers and a new coach as well. She was a student at Beaverton in the past and up until this year she was the JV cheer coach. Coach Shannon McCauley was a familiar face to the team so the team was comfortable around her.
Having a new coach was a transition for the team however, it was a positive one. Senior Kylee Rench expressed, “She [McCauley] has brought back some of the old cheers she did when she was on the Beaverton varsity team. It is fun to think that we are connecting the past with the present in that way.”
The girls were born to perform. Although their group might have run into some adversity with lack of experience and a new head of the program, the team is ecstatic to get up on the floor and show their hard work. Their passion makes the Beaverton community looks forward to their competition season.
Beaverton Cheer shows the most spirit during the Lake Oswego game. Photo courtesy of Jason Sarmiento.