Making Her ‘Dreams’ Come True In Wyoming

Breah Anderson-feat
Breah Anderson

(5-17-17) So how does a varsity cheerleader from Celina (Ohio) end up cheering at the University of Wyoming? Give up?

For Breah Anderson, it all makes sense if you think about it, here is how it all went down.

Her dad Brian and one of his best friends from high school, Mike, now a football coach at Wyoming, were talking on the phone and the result was a plan that might work for Breah.

Yep, it’s a true story and looking back, it looks like it was the right move. Who would of thought it, a DI football coach would help in the recruitment of a D1 cheerleader.

Mike Bath - Wyoming
Mike Bath

Former Celina Bulldog and the current Running Backs/Fullbacks Football Coach at Wyoming Mike Bath:

Brian has always been one of my closest friends, and last summer we were on the phone. Brian was talking about Breah’s not being settled on the places that she was checking out locally, and had a desire to ‘get away.’ We began to throw out there the idea of Wyoming as a possibility. We have a great law school here, and I knew that is the path that she had a desire in pursuing, and having known her parents since we were kids, I felt it would be a potential fit.

When Brian and Breah came out in the fall, I believe she felt at home. With my family and I being entrenched here, we could give Breah an honest picture of what Wyoming is about, while also introducing her to some additional adults that we have become friends with, which I believe made her parents more comfortable! Outside of cheerleading activities, my wife introduced her to the FCA director and some other student athletes that were involved with it as well. It’s been fun to have her and her parents come out and visit several times, and I know that my our children are looking forward to her coming out here for school.

The next step in the process was making a trip to Wyoming for a visit to try-out in April. To cheer at a DI program is a ‘BIG’ deal in this very competitive sport, plus Breah, who suffered an injury last summer  and was unable to cheer this past year, made it all that more impressive.

Breah Anderson signing
Breah Anderson signing

The try-out process is more than smiling and just shaking your pom-pom, this is a tough sport and an athlete needs to have numerous skills, athleticism and toughness.

Matthew ‘Mateo_ Ortega
Matthew ‘Mateo’ Ortega

Matthew ‘Mateo’ Ortega Head Spirit Coach / Program Director, University of Wyoming:

Breah was one of 78 in-person and video submissions candidates for tryouts this year, She was one of 13 freshmen to make this year’s team.  Tryouts were a 3 day process.  Day 1 is a formal panel interview with a panel of 7 judges that focuses on character, academics, personality and social skills.  Day 2 and 3 are skill evaluation days that focus on assessing each candidate’s skills in performance ability, tumbling, stunting, and crowd leading. Both standing and running tumbling have become a requirement to make the team.  We had cuts on day 2 and final team selection on day 3.

Wyoming Small Coed Team
Wyoming Small Coed Team – courtesy University of Wyoming Spirit Team

The LARGE COED squad is made up of 9 couples (so 18 total, 9 men & 9 women) – the stunting style is one male basing one female.  The SMALL COED squad is made up of 3-4 men and the 16-17 females – the stunting style is ‘group’ stunting involving four positions: 2 bases, 1 back spot and 1 flyer.  Breah made the small coed team as a base.  We stress we are two squads but ONE TEAM.  We also have a 4 member mascot team to fill the role of our beloved mascot – Pistol Pete.

We cheer at all home football games, a significant number of away football games, as well as, all home volleyball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball games.  We also take a select group of cheerleaders to cheer at bowl games, conference championships and tournaments.  We participate in over 120 hours of community service and public appearance each year and support other University of Wyoming sports as much as possible.  We have also competed nationally two out of the three past years and have placed top ten each time in our division.  Our cheerleaders are often featured on ESPN during game and tournament coverage.

UW Spirit Squad Recruitment Video

Breah was very fortunate to have a steady coaching influence during her cheer career at Celina, the sport continues to evolve and it takes someone who knows how to work with an athlete on this platform.

Breah’s cheer coach while at Celina Sandi Feltz:

I’ve coached Breah since she was in Middle School. She has always been a very determined young lady. Whatever goals she sets for herself or her team she accomplishes without fail.

I’ve coached competitive cheer, school cheer and competitive gymnastics for a combined 30 years and Breah is one of the hardest working, disciplined athletes I’ve ever coached. Breah consistently strives to better herself and her teammates. She is concerned for others as much as herself. I believe her philosophy is that ” you are only as strong as the weakest link“.  Breah is a team player.

Breah is a very skilled athlete. She has all qualities needed to be a top notch college cheerleader.  She has consistently worked on all aspects of cheerleading to improve.

Last summer Breah suffered a devastating injury.  This injury took her out of all sports for her entire senior year. It was devastating for her and myself as her coach.  Breah never lost sight of her goal to be a college cheerleader. Many people doubted that she would be able to try out in April for college cheer yet Breah kept her focus on her rehab and persevered through many set backs to achieve her goal. I never once doubted that if she desired to cheer in college she would do everything in her power to make that happen.

Breah is a very mature young lady who has the upmost respect for others. She will consistently “play by the rules” and never once did I discipline her for any infractions.  She is able to balance her school work, which includes college courses, and jobs with ease while maintaining a high GPA.

Breah is an amazing young lady and I am honored to have been her coach for six years.

The final ok came from Breah’s mom, Kelly, who went to Wyoming to check out the school and watch the try-outs.

On Facebook during the trip she shared her feelings.

My very first trip to Wyoming. It’s now very clear to me why Breah is so excited to be moving here! Beautiful people and beautiful views everywhere you look! Not to mention some really awesome friends Mike and Tara Bath.

Tonight I am thankful for $49 Frontier Flights because I’m sure we will be making this trip several times the next four years!

In a recent Daily Standard story Breah talked about why Wyoming was the right choice:

Within 30 minutes of being on campus. I looked at my dad and said  ‘We’re going to cancel all my other college visits. This is where I’m going.’ It was exactly what I was looking for.

A story of a cheerleader, who set her goals, worked hard, overcame a serious injury, knew what she wanted, good grades, great family, friends and coaches and is a good person…it’s a formula for a successful run for Breah Anderson.

Cheerleading Facts:

What is a base on a cheerleading squad:

  • Base: the cheerleader on the bottom of a partner stunt/pyramid

What steps it took to be a squad member at Wyoming?

Skills needed to be a base on small coed team:

  • Standing Tuck, Running Tuck (those with layouts and above will be given preference), base full-up, switch-up, low-to-high & inverted stunts, etc.

Breah and her team can be followed on social media at:

FacebookWyoming Spirit Squad, Twitter: @wyospirit, Instagram: @wyomingspirit, Website: www.wyomingspiritprogram.com

 

 

 

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Rockford’s Royal Family Wins At Windy City Challenge

royals-st-win
Royal Family Wins Windy City Challenge

(1-15-17) Last year at this time Shelli McGinley and the Guilford Vikings Cheer team was getting ready for the NIC 10 Championships, a lot has happened in just a year.

McGinley was dismissed unceremoniously in September by RPS 205 (Rockford Public Schools) after the school administration gave into a disgruntled parents of a JV team member.  That started a rough time for McGinley and her Guilford Cheer Team.

But it didn’t McGinley, parents of her Guilford cheer parents and their kids to change gears. What looked like the end of the world has now turned into “Somewhere Over The Rainbow“.  McGinley went right to work, she found a new gym location, started a new competitive All-Star Squad (Rockford’s Royal Family) and in less than six months competed in their first competition.  Most of team is made up up of former Guilford cheerleaders and a sprinkling of members from around the Stateline area.  The formula is working too.

The result for the Royal Family was a win at the Windy City Challenge on Saturday, the 93.67 score was the highest ever for a McGinley coached team.  The win now gives them an opportunity to be eligible for a bid to the Summit in May at Disney World, the pinnacle of All-Star competitive cheering,  Bids will be awarded on Monday night which will be shown  on Varsity TV.

royal-trophy
Coach McGinley and the Windy City Challenge Trophy

Rockford’s Royal Family Coach Shelli McGinley:

Words cannot describe how truly excited and humbled I am at our first place win today at out very first competition! We are a brand new all star cheer gym, just opened in October 2016. We overcame big obstacles as one of our elite athletes sprained her ankle on Thursday and could not compete. On Friday, we pulled in an alternate and also had another girl learn the routine just this week. All odds were stacked against us. However, these amazing kids I’m blessed to coach, gave it their all today and scored the highest score any team I’ve coached has ever scored! I’m so very proud of this team, these athletes and their wonderful supportive parents! We made this happen together. It was definitely a collaborative effort! We definitely turned Lemons into Lemonade.

It’s an amazing amazing comeback story for everyone involved with Rockford’s Royal Family. Great kids, great coaches, great facilities and a great program.

 

RELATED STORY:
Shelli McGinley ‘ Turning Lemons Into Lemonade’

Shelli McGinley ‘ Turning Lemons Into Lemonade’

shelli

 

When Shelli McGinley was forced out as the Guilford (Rockford, Illinois)  Competitive Cheer Coach it could have been devastating, but then again you really don’t know Shelli.  Although the RPS 205 officials never gave her any support during the entire ‘soap opera’ event (a disgruntled JV Cheerleader and her parents)  that led to her termination.  McGinley was given the  cold shoulder from all levels in the school system. She requested for the details to be released on why the school was letting her go and she wanted to talk with the administration to possibly work something out. That never happened and she was let go as just another item on the school board agenda, no thanks you for her work and dedication, which seems to be a trend in the Rockford school system.  Not letting her situation get her down,  Shelli has turned her ‘lemons into lemonades’ by forming an all-star competitive cheer team – the Rockford’s Royal Family.

Below McGinley tells us the latest details and happenings before the team competes for the first time in January.

How are things going with the Royal Family?

Things are going really well and we have three talented teams to set the bar for our new program. As with any new venture it is challenging, but extremely rewarding. Rockford’s Royal Family All Star athletes have exceeded my expectations for just forming the teams in October!

What is the main difference between All Star and high school cheer?

Working in the schools, you’re limited to working only with athletes from that specific school. With All Star you get the opportunity to work with kids from all over. The structure of the routines is completely different. Similarly, All Star routines do not include a cheer portion, which is something required in high school competition routines. I like the rules, regulations, certification process, and safety concerns with USASF a bit better than the high school as well.

 

What is the goal for you and the program this 1st year?

My goal is to provide a safe, home away from home, cheer gym for kids to participate in competitive cheer and tumbling. Our goal for the program is to put out a great product by showcasing the kids’ many talents! We hope to showcase the athletic ability of our athletes, their great respect for the sport and their phenomenal sportsmanship.

How have the area high school coaches responded?

Being I coached at the high school level for so many years, I have become friends with most of the veteran coaches. Due to this most have been very kind and supportive. However, it’s tough to lose a high school athlete to an All Star team; I know some local cheer programs have lost a few kids joining Rockford’s Royal Family.

How has the support been from parents, especially Guilford parents?

The support the parents have given me from the beginning has been overwhelming. The parents fought so hard for me that it was an easy transition to provide their children with the opportunity to participate in all Star cheerleading. It was at their urging I started this program. Several parents told the Guilford athletic director they would not allow their children to be coached by anyone but me. This was humbling and heart warming. The community also rallied around me which lit a fire underneath me to continue coaching. The Guilford parents allowed and encouraged their children to join Rockford’s Royal Family rather than continuing at Guilford due to my coaching methods, proven track record along with results, and the not so professional way the parents, kids and coaches were treated during Guilford’s inconsistent and unjust decisions towards cheerleading. Many of the kids on the Guilford cheer team participate in other sports and parents have voiced their dissatisfaction with these coaches and claim their kids are treated poorly and the school does nothing. This had led to even more support for me. Again, it’s a very humbling and wonderful feeling to have the backing of so many parents.

How has this experience changed you?

It made me realize how many hours I put in at Guilford high school without proper or sufficient support or backing. I gave 150% in and out of the school to build an extremely successful program. We hit many school milestones in my years with Guilford. We were the first team in school history to ever compete at the IHSA level and made it to the IHSA state championships four consecutive years. I took a non-existent program and made it into a successful one in a very short time! For this reason, it negatively changed my view on the politics of public schools and my belief is the administration cares more about a dollar than a child. It also made me realize my worth in this sport and know I deserve better than I was receiving.  I would never coach for an RPS205 school again due to their treatment towards me, but more importantly to the 950 parents, RPS205 staff, athletes, community members and cheerleading advocates that signed a petition to keep me as the head cheerleading coach at Guilford. The prestigious cheer program I built died this season and that is definitely hard to see. However, this new endeavor has shown me a lesson I teach all the kids I coach –

when you get knocked down you get up and keep pushing and you become stronger. If you get knocked down seven times, you get up eight.

First Competetion

We will be competing at the “Windy City Challenge” at NIU on January 14, 2017.

rockfords-royal-family-team
Rockford’s Royal Family – 2016-17 Team

The roster of Rockford’s Royal Family highest level team is as follows:

  • Alexi Bladel – Guilford/Home schooled
  • Aneia Kinard – Guilford
  • Breezie Silvi – Guilford
  • Cameran George – Eisenhower
  • Cameron Morhardt – Guilford
  • Da’Vonte Hawkins – Guilford
  • Daniella Blanco – Guilford
  • Eliah Mana – Auburn
  • Hunter Bladel – Guilford
  • Jade King – Eisenhower
  • Jayden Downen – Guilford
  • Joel Cordonnier – Guilford
  • Lauren George – Guilford
  • Mary Sturlin – Eisenhower
  • McKenzie Wannahwilai Eisenhower
  • Maya Cable – Guilford
  • Meia Kinard – Guilford
  • Miranda Brook -Guilford
  • Matt Winkler – Graduated from Belvidere North
  • Moeneka Kyles – Eisenhower
  • Tae Phomsopha – Guilford
  • Teagan Briggs – Guilford

 

rockfords-royal-family-men

Rockford’s Royal Family is located at:

7159 Lake Windsor Rd, Loves Park, IL 61111

Interested in being a part of  Rockford’s Royal Family –

815-218-4761 or email : shellimcginley@comcast.net

TWITTER: @RRFAllStars

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/OutlawsTumblingandCheer

‘We Say Blue, But Don’t Say White’

The cheer is a very common one at East Hampton (Connecticut) High School:

‘We say Blue, You Say White’

A posting at East Hampton HS was written earlier this week about that cheer by Principal John Fidler:

white
East Hampton (Conn) HS Principal posted this

The school’s colors are blue and white, the posting caused quite a ‘stir’ and is finding national attention.  No more ‘white’ cheer due to the social climate, interesting.  Will this be come a national controversy?  To this point in the debate the ‘Blue Man Group’ has not asked that the cheer eliminate the word ‘blue‘. (meant to be humorous)

East Hampton School Superintendent Paul Smith told WFSB TV 3 News:

“In road games, we’re dressed in blue, and even though it’s still the senior tradition to say white, white, white, over and over, I think the context is not understood by everybody. He is not telling them what they can say and can’t say in the gym at the games. He wants them to come but he also wants them to reflect the positive things they do outside of the gym as well.”

The school’s mascot is the ‘Bellringers’:

Bell making in the 1800s began ringing in East Hampton in 1808 when William Barton (Barton Hill) opened the first bell factory in town. Barton had previously built guns for the Revolutionary War and had been trained in brass casting in New York. It is believed that Barton’s bell factory was the first factory developed solely for bell production. Barton’s contribution to the growth of bell production can be seen in his invention of the process in which bells were cast hollow instead of being put together separately, which had been done previously. Many bell makers in East Hampton were trained in Barton’s factory. Over 30 different bell manufacturers called East Hampton home over the years. Millions of bells have been made in East Hampton, with bells still being produced by Bevin Bells in town.

So maybe the principal is just a big ‘Ding Dong‘. (meant to be humorous)

WFSB – TV 3 News Story