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By Derrick Smith

When you hear the word cheerleader, you probably think of terms like energetic, happy, excited, pride, and spirited.  While these are all true, there is another word that can be used, and that is tight-knit. Oklahoma Union freshman cheer captain, Katie Davis, says that her team is really special to her.

“The things I enjoy most about cheering is getting to have my teammates as a second family,” Davis said. “I also love stunting and getting the crowd involved through cheers. The things I enjoy about my team is that we all work together and help each other out when needed.”

Head coach Monica Richardson served as an assistant coach of the team for two years before taking over to lead the team six years ago. She says that her team’s is great at cheering on the Cougars athletic teams.

“Our team’s biggest strength is cheering on our sports teams,” Richardson said. “We have such an amazing community that always supports us and makes cheering a lot more exciting when the crowd gets involved with our cheers.” 

Jessie Elms, a sophomore co-captain, says that cheering helps her to be a better person in life.

“I love cheer because it helps me stay positive and gives me the determination to work hard for what I want. Cheer helps me, not just physically, but mentally too.  When I cheer, I feel myself becoming more confident in myself and what I’m capable of.”

The team attend the UCA Camp this summer. They earned two blue superior ribbons, one for rally routine and the other for best overall cheer. On the last day of the camp, they received a superior trophy for best overall cheer in the small division.

The bond that is built within the team and the community is what senior co-captain Jordan Hannah enjoys about cheer.

“You get to challenge yourself and your teammates to become better people within your school and community.  When you do cheers in front of people you give yourself more confidence to go out into the real world.”

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