From signs to cheers, there are many ways that a school can show spirit. But cheerleaders are often the representation of school spirit.
Helix High School had cheerleaders a long time ago but the program stopped suddenly when organizers left the school, leaving only the student section and the parents as the only form of school spirit.
But Helix student Kyla Roberts decided that the school needed more and she took action.
Senior Kyla Roberts started to think about starting the cheer program back up when she was a freshman. “ I saw the lack of school spirit and I wanted to do something about it,” said Roberts.
Starting it back up was harder than she expected. Since the school only had a few cheerleading uniforms, only a few people could cheer. She needed to start from scratch.
Roberts showed dedication to the sport as she did countless fundraisers to raise money for new uniforms, pom poms, and shoes. Roberts set goals along the way to help her develop the program even more.
The goal she set when she first started was to have enough people and to get the program off the ground. This year, her goal was to do stunts and a half time show, both of which she attained.
Of course, there are always negatives of starting new things. Not everyone is going to be supportive of it or may even drag it down. “I knew that if I was going to be negative about something, I needed to do it on my own time because a lot of the younger girls we had in the program looked up to me...they really liked the idea of being positive, even when people were dragging you down” said Roberts. For Roberts, it was hard to get it started and get people's support at first. “I wanted to prove them wrong and show them that I could do it,” said Roberts. Her confidence in succeeding is what helped her persevere.
For Roberts, there is cheer in the future for her. On April 13th, she will be going to Pacific University in Forest Grove to try out for their cheer team.
For Roberts, there isn't a certain aspect of cheerleading that she likes; she loves all parts of it. “I love stunting and dancing, I love that I get to be a role model and I love doing the cheers. I love everything!” said Roberts. For Roberts, being a role model was an important part of being a cheerleader.
With every cheer program, an advisor is required. The Helix Cheerleading team’s advisor is Science teacher Megan Dunaway. Dunaway became the advisor after someone overheard that she had been a cheerleader in high school and asked her if she would like to be the advisor. “ The advisor is responsible for managing uniforms, fundraising, and I am responsible for the cheerleader’s sports rule book,” said Dunaway.
Dunaway also helped the Joseph Charter School stunt class in 2013. Between Roberts and Dunaway, the cheerleading program is up and running. “ Kyla was committed to making the Helix Cheer Team great. She used her free time to come up with new cheers, and helpful tips for stunts,” said Dunaway.
Roberts had a dream, and instead of sitting back and thinking of what it would be like to have it fulfilled, she did something about it. And it flourished into something much greater than what she dreamed about. “ In the future I want the team to flourish and I want there to be a big high school team,” said Roberts. Hopefully the cheer team keeps growing in every way.
If it does, Kyla Roberts will have her own legacy at Griswold High School.