Go, Fight, Win!
By Bria Chappell
lthough the “Go” cheer has not changed, Lincoln Cheer has undergone a lot of changes this school year. With a new athletic director, cheer adviser, coach, and cheerleaders, everything has changed, aside from some traditional cheer chants.
“Lincoln Cheer is moving forward, in a different direction; [but] we will keep the legacy,” said head coach, Armaund Fowler.
Mr. Robinson, the new athletic director, has also taken over the responsibility of cheer adviser this school year. At the cheer tryout meeting last year, he explained that he planned to take on the task to implement the changes he believed were necessary for the Hornet Cheerleaders.
Mr. Robinson began by enforcing an application process for aspiring cheerleaders, followed by a practice and try-out trial over the summer. Students who tried out and made the squad have had the opportunity to work with head coach, Armaund Fowler. Known by the cheerleaders as, Coach A, Fowler has been coaching for 15 years and is presently coaching for Extreme Dance and Cheer, in which he was honored as “Coach of the Year.” In addition to working with Coach A, Katie Kartes, a San Diego Charger Cheerleader and one of the squad captains, has helped the Hornets with try-outs and their homecoming performance. Katie is a Lincoln alumni cheerleader and former dance student of Mr. Robinson, when she attended the School of Creative and Performing Arts.
“What I enjoy most about coaching the Hornets is the Lincoln legacy, the legacy of performance and athletics,” said Coach A.
“Our experience while working with Katie was really amazing. She is a real nice lady and also had a lot of patience while working with us,” said junior Cheer Captain, Sheree Collins, “She had a good energy flow that always kept a positive vibe going on in the room, which always helped. I personally enjoyed it and I hope she comes back for basketball season.”
In addition to the new adult leadership, student leadership has changed. The cheer captain is junior Sheree Collins. Collins has cheered for 5 years and earned her position by having the highest performing score at try-outs and good academic standing, in addition to having experience with an All-Star Cheer Team and competitive squads back home.
“Trying to teach new cheerleaders with no experience is really hard. It’s like I have to back track to help and teach them,” said Collins, “But since they are willing to learn and I have the patience to teach them, it has been cool to be able to teach them some things I know.”
Collins explains how the cheer squad has experienced many new changes this year. She does not necessarily agree with all of them, but she recognizes they are in the best interest of the squad. She also notes that she has seen improvements in the squad’s camaraderie and they have a great deal of fun together. Collins said she is an energetic person and enjoys keeping the team’s spirit high.
The cheer squad has been rebuilt from the bottom up. The cheerleaders are a work in progress as Coach A said, “[Their primary goal this year is] form and function. Form together as a people and function as a team.” Then, they will begin to work on perfecting performances at the competition level.
The cheerleaders have come a long way; they began with no uniforms and no funds, just the support of parents and the community. Mr. Robinson wanted the girls to feel confident and look good in their new uniforms, but he felt they needed to look more conservative and comfortably fit all of their body types. Despite the fact they wear pleated skirts and looser fitting cheer shells (tops), the cheerleaders have not had to pay for much of their uniform, excluding accessories (shoes, briefs, and other personal items). This is because of a new rule within the San Diego Unified School district from 2010, that guarantees a constitutional right to a free education, including uniforms.
“The uniforms make everyone look equal, no one can say they are better than anyone else,” said junior cheerleader, Briana Zavala, “For the female cheerleaders, the uniforms do not fit tightly, so they aren’t a distraction."
Lincoln’s cheer parents have showed much financial support to the squad. Every home football game, one could find the cheer parents in the snack bars, preparing and selling food and drinks from the start of the game until the end.
“They are very organized and know how to deal with customers without being rude or mean,” said football game attendee and senior, Amaya Ford.
Lincoln Cheer has experienced many transformations this school year. Nevertheless, the Hornet Cheerleaders continue to keep the spirit alive at the Hive and always encourage their fellow Hornets.