Tumbling to the top

Cheer makes school history at State finals


photo credit: courtesy photo

Making a State-ment // Posing for the camera, the cheerleaders bask in their glory as the 12th best cheer squad in the 5A division of Texas at the University Interscholastic League (UIL) State Spirit Competition in Fort Worth, Texas, Jan. 19. The cheer team and coaches are proud of their placement and feel amazing to be the premiere team from East to have made finals in school history. “It was such an amazing feeling. To know that our hard work had paid off. I knew that the cheerleaders were very talented here at East and I was excited to bring that talent out,” Varsity coach Mrs. Amy Tietjen said.

writer: Liz Harkins, Copy Editor

The audience feels the ground shake as flyers land into their final position. Parents and friends from all across Texas wave colorful signs and cry out the occasional supportive ‘that’s my girl!’ Tears of joy glimmer on cheerleaders’ faces as they hear their team followed by that prestigious, six-letter word: FINALS. It’s that time of year again: competitive cheer season.

This past weekend, both varsity and junior varsity cheer squads competed together at the University Interscholastic League (UIL) State Spirit Competition in Fort Worth, Texas Jan. 19. The team spent hours on end preparing for their competition season in hopes of making school history as the first cheer squad to make finals at UIL State. After endless hard work, through blood, sweat and cheers, they finally did it.

This is the first time [WEHS] cheer has ever gotten a major placement, besides awards from NCA summer camps, which don’t compare to our state placement.”

— Mazzy Coker, junior

“[I] was so proud of my team when we made it to finals. It proves that we are good enough and that all of our hard work had paid off,” varsity cheerleader junior Mazzy Coker said. “Not to mention, making school history is something I will never forget.”

The school cheer program began when the building opened in 2007. In year’s past, the team has won awards from National Cheer Association (NCA) summer camps, yet none of them compare to their prestigious placement at state finals, according to Coker.

“This is the first time [WEHS] cheer has ever gotten a major placement, besides awards from NCA summer camps, which don’t compare to our state placement. Being the 12th best cheer team in the 5A division makes me super excited for next year,” Coker said.

With most cheerleaders involved in outside activities and advanced academics, alongside cheer, juggling practices and time for homework gets stressful. Varsity coach Mrs. Amy Tietjen is the team’s main supply of support, lending not only cheer advice, but life advice for the bunch from personal experience when she was a cheerleader at Abilene Christian University and in high school.

“[I] give them advice all the time. [The cheerleaders] are role models for our school and are held to a very high standard. We have conversations all the time about social media, boys, friends, and family. It is important for the girls to understand how the decisions can affect their life,” Tietjen said. “We try to mentor and help each cheerleader with hard life decisions and we are always available to talk.”

Both Mrs. Tietjen and the cheer team are proud to bring home their State result of 12th in the the 5A division and thank their families, plus every teacher, administrator and student at Wylie East that has given them endless support at football games, pep rallies and competitions.

“[WEHS] cheer is becoming something really great and I hope the student body starts to see us in a more positive light and follow us in our spirit footsteps,” Coker said.