FFCA Cheer Teams - Brooke Herwig & Erin Cochrane
FFCA South and North Middle Schools are home to two dedicated and high-achieving cheer teams! The SMS Panthers and the NMS Cobras competed in junior divisions two and one, respectively, this season. Both teams are doing incredibly well, placing 1st or 1st runner up in their competitions. Hours of practice and training paid off for these teams!
If you are interested in the cheerleading programs at FFCA, we will be holding open try-outs where your student (grade 6-8) can come and try cheer out and see if this might be a sport for them. All skill levels are welcome; no experience is required! Our mission is to create athletes who are mentally and physically strong, with collaborative skills, team spirit, and perseverance.
Please click on the following links to see these two award-winning teams in action:
If you would like to have a full competition experience, please join us on the morning of Saturday, March 17th, between 9 and 11 a.m. Admission is $10 and children under 3 are free.
Some of the South Middle School cheerleaders were asked:
How do you benefit from cheerleading? What life lessons is cheer teaching you? What do your teammates mean to you?
Their responses are reaffirming. There is more to cheer than the sport itself. The time we invest into these athletes is constructive, character-building, and more than worthwhile. Please read below for some of their responses.
To me, cheerleading is a really fun sport to do, where I get to meet and interact with other amazing girls. I love working with my teammates to make our stunts better. Cheer has definitely given me more confidence to step it up and to try and make new friends. Cheer has also given me strength and self-confidence, and I am very grateful for that. To me, cheer is more than just a sport. It’s a team-building, friendship-making, confidence-building family. Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a cheerleader. Now I am, and I am super grateful that I get to be a part of this family and the cheer community. Cheer is a really huge part of my life and I don’t know what I would do without it.
Cheerleading is a sport about teamwork, and I value that. My teammates are some of the funniest, kindest, most caring people that I know, and I am super grateful that I get to see them pretty much every day. It takes a lot for a flyer to trust their bases and back spot to catch them. But they do, because we are family. To me, we are more than just a cheer team. We are sisters, and will stop at nothing to help each other. Yes, we do sometimes make mistakes, but then we pull ourselves together and we help each other. I absolutely love the girls on our team and they mean so much to me. I can’t imagine what it will be like when cheer is over. I will forever appreciate all the hard work that they have all put through.
I have benefited from cheer in a quite few ways:
Perseverance…the conditioning! Some days I don't want to do it, but after I do, I feel healthier, stronger, and refreshed. Cheer is not something you learn and can do overnight. It takes months and months to get it semi-perfect ;). Ever since I started cheer, I have become so strong mentally and physically. My tumbling has become so much better, I have improved my flexibility, and with me being a flyer, I have done some things I would never imagine doing in my life. ex: twist downs, scorp up, lib, heel stretch, basically everything. I need to be confident and brave. If I wasn't brave, I wouldn't be doing what I am right now- which is being a flyer! Before cheer, I was scared of a lot of things. Being a flyer has made me brave to do things that would frighten the average person.
Resiliency: I learned that there is always going to be people who will make fun of you for being a cheerleader and won't call it a sport but you just have to ignore it because you know the truth. They would know if they were on the team. I have also learned from cheer to just be myself. Before cheer, I was shy and quiet. Now I am less shy and feel like at cheer I can be my loud, goofy self because my sisters are at cheer and I know they won't judge me.
Empathy, trust and responsibility: The biggest life lesson I get from cheer is how much my teammates and my coaches mean to me and how much I mean to them. If you are having a bad day, or having issues with your friends, you can always count on your cheer sisters to cheer you up. I have created such strong bonds with everyone who is on the team. The gym is like my home away from home. I know if I have something on my mind I can tell my coaches because I think of my coaches like second moms. I know I can go to them if something is wrong, and I also know to do my homework or I will get in trouble in cheer! I am so grateful that they take hours out of their week to be at the gym with us, making sure we do our best. I know I have to show up at cheer and do my job, even if I don’t feel like it that day. There are other girls relying on me, so I have to be at my best. My teammates and I have created a bond that I never knew was possible to have until joining cheer. If there is no trust in cheer, nothing would work. These girls aren't just my team mates; they are my sisters. Sure, we get unhappy with each other if stunts don't go the way we want, but at the end of the day they are your family and you love them no matter what.
Cheerleading is the only sport that I have ever been able to put my heart in. It has benefited me in so many ways. Cheer is so much better than any other sport that I have done and it has helped me break out of my comfort zone. Joining cheer helped me branch out and now so many people that I don’t even know tell me I’m doing great in cheer. School work used to be really hard for me but cheer motivated me to want to try harder and now I work as hard as I do in cheer in my school work.
I have learned to be tough. I’m so much tougher, physically and mentally, because of cheer and I have so much more confidence in everything I do. From cheer, I’ve learned that you must put your team first. Everyone has bad days, but those days are easier when you put other people first, and then you forget what your troubles are. I’ve learned that you have to be prepared for anything and, if it’s bad, you just have get through it with all you’ve got. I always feel really happy when I have cheer and I get really sad when we don’t have cheer.
I’m learning amazing things from my coaches and all my team mates. I can’t believe I have this many friends in a sport that makes me feel this happy. My teammates mean so much to me. I love them all so much. If I didn’t have them I honestly don’t know what I would do. We all have such a great bond and we can talk about anything. If someone said I could trade them for one million dollars I would say no in a heartbeat. It feels really good to see them all getting better at what they do. I trust each and every one of them, no matter what.
Cheerleading teaches how to deal with pressure. The adrenaline rush you get from competing makes me so happy, but it is intense. The rest of the team is relying on you to do a job and you want to do your part. I now know that confidence is key for everything that you do because even if you put your heart and soul into it but have no confidence you won’t be able to achieve your goal. When I’m older I want to be a cheer coach. This sport has taught me so many wonderful lessons and it still is. If cheerleading wasn’t in my life I would lose so many things that I cherish. I learned that there’s nothing better than my cheer family, glitter and bows.
Cheerleading has cheered me up! I used to feel depressed from not doing an activity, not having many friends, and not being a part of something. I felt this loop of the same thing every day and some days, it was hard to get out of bed. Doing cheer has brought me bonds, friendships, an activity that I love, and a love for life that I never knew I had.
Whenever I go to cheer, it takes my mind off of all of life’s difficulties. I am able to just focus on what I am doing. It feels nice to focus on team work and friendship instead of other things. I have learned what hard work is, and how much I love it. I now know perseverance- I keep going no matter how tired or uncomfortable I am. I have strength and endurance for life and I am so lucky to be a part of cheer.
- anonymous student/athlete
I have learned so many life lessons from cheer. I have learned about teamwork and the importance of cooperating with others. I love to be challenged and cheer is definitely challenging!
Cheer to me is a second family. Every Wednesday and Friday, all I can think about is cheer and how excited it will be to be stunting. The people in cheer mean so much to me; I have become best friends with all of them. I am grateful to our coaches who push us. Without them, we wouldn’t do so well at competitions. Cheer has changed my life and I am so happy to be a part of it.
Brooke Herwig and Erin Cochrane
South Middle School cheerleading coaches