Peninsula CheerLEADERS: Ready for Upcoming Season


Cassandra Bundrick

Varsity captain, Caroleann Tiedeman, cheers at a PHS assembly.

Madeleine Johnson, Editor in Chief

Camps, stunt sessions, upwards of seven hour-long practice days, and endless behind the scenes leadership projects, our Peninsula High School Cheer Squad is more than ready for an amazing 2016-2017 year. With football season just around the corner, the girls have put in a solid summer of work. Attending cheer camp at WWU, the girls received a “customized” and more “attentive” week of training than they’ve had in the past. After camp, the teams took seven weeks off and reconvened back at team practice on August 15th, a couple days before football began. Early into the season, head coach Kathy Crowley is already extremely proud of her teams.

“They are a lot more determined this year than they have been in the past – and they are willing to push themselves. We’ve seen more progress out of the both squads in the last two weeks than I’ve seen in a long time” she said.

Back with more bang than ever, the squad is ready to perform two new routines at Fishbowl. Cheer routines, requiring a lot of concentration, teamwork, coordination, and strength, definitely take a special type of person. More than anything, cheerleading demands trust and amity within the team, so stunts and routines can be performed safely and correctly. Fortunately, the girls this year have had a lot of time to bond as a team. PHS senior and varsity captain Kaila Edwards explains how close knit the cheerleaders have become due to the vast amount of time they’ve spent together.

“We’re all really close. I feel like sometimes people think it’s stereotypical, like when we sit together at lunch, but it’s really just because we’re friends! We’re with each other every day, and during the summer it’s 9 AM to 9 PM,” Edwards said.

Besides getting more strong and sturdy as a team, the cheerleaders act as a covert extension to leadership, often helping in behind the scenes projects and serving the community. Crowley has worked hard to help impress a service-oriented attitude into her squad.

“You may take a lot from society, but you’ve got to give back,” Crowley said. The mindset of helping others is an integral part of Peninsula’s squad. They volunteer as a team at many local races including Race for a Cure, Race for a Soldier, the Rock n’ Roll Marathon, and the Galloping Gertie half marathon. Not only do they volunteer outside of the walls of PHS, the cheerleaders work closely with Peninsula’s leadership classes. Just these last few weeks, the girls have decorated the commons with every single PHS student’s name and the entire gym with intricate posters entailing great attention to detail. Personifying all of these leadership roles, our cheerleaders have become ambassadors to Peninsula.

The cheerleaders main goal is to be there for others, as Crowley said, “We do all of these jobs to support people.” However, besides cheering on other people, the cheer squad has made some dedicated long term team goals they hope to achieve this year. They hope to qualify for state and this year bring home a trophy.           

“We’re really trying to go to state this year,” Edwards said. To get to state the girls have to prepare even more for competition season, which starts November 12th.

“We actually host that very first competition here at PHS! It’s called Seahawk Cheer Challenge,” Crowley said. In the past, the girls have placed in above ninth out of the 18 teams at state cheer. This year is special though because Crowley especially believes this group of girls has what it takes to reach all of their goals. “The previous teams have been good but these teams have been really really pushing themselves,” Crowley said, a coach here at Peninsula since September of 2001. “I am proud at the fact of how hard they’re pushing, at how hard they’re trying.”

Our cheer girls’ dedication can even be seen now. On Friday the second of September, the cheer squad loaded up on buses headed out to Eastern Washington (the last time a Peninsula game was this far was back in 2006). Over five hours away in Spokane, the girls cheered on Peninsula’s football team to the tune of a 22-0 victory.

With loads of preparation put in and a committed coaching staff, the Peninsula cheer is 100% ready for an awesome season.

“They have to believe in themselves, just believe and stay positive,” Crowley said.