Pius High School Cheerleading team is composed of a group of talented, athletic, and energetic young women. These young ladies attend high school at Pius X High School in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Pius Thunderbolts are taught by Coach Heather. She is new to the coaching world but has brought a breath of fresh air to the team. Coach Heather is described as being inspirational and a wonderful role model by all three of the 2013 Thunderbolt team captains. She coached the Junior Varsity last year and is now the Head Coach of the varsity team. She says that the most rewarding aspect of coaching is the opportunity to be a positive role model to young women. Coach Heather says that “Cheerleading isn’t just about cheering but it is about the watching young ladies grow and mature.” They take the skills and confidence that they have developed through cheer and apply to their own lives. The lessons that they learn will help prepare them for life beyond high school. Her team really respects her as a coach because she has been a cheerleader herself and realizes the importance of team spirit, team unity, and self-growth, according to Captain Anna.
One of the new programs that she has introduced has been to create team goals. These goals work to bring the entire team together and help them support and push each other to become better cheerleaders as well as more mature young ladies. Having goals also helps then entire team to know where they want to go as a team and what they need to do to get to these goals. Captain Madison states that the entire team is very unified which has helped them work much more cohesively in supporting their fellow athletes and school. Every member of the Thunderbolts is also expected to set her own individual goals to work towards in order to become a better leader. These goals are reviewed throughout the year so that all of the Thunderbolts stay on track for achieving their goals. Having these goals have brought home to all of the team members that they really are role models for all Pius students, which Captain Megan states is one of the greatest parts of being a Pius Cheerleader. Knowing this has brought a great sense of responsibility to each member of the team.
While the Pius Cheerleaders work hard for their school, they also like to have fun. All three captain agree that one of the best feelings that comes from cheerleading is helping the crowd get excited and energetic in supporting all Pius athletes. They love the excitement that overtakes the crowd when the Thunderbolts score a touchdown. Coach Heather has worked hard over the past several years of creating an environment that helps Pius Cheerleaders to grow and mature into responsible young ladies as well as have fun while experiencing their high school years.
Written by Jennifer Ericson