The Little Rams Cheer Clinic was a resounding success this year due to the unwavering support and focus of the young Ralston High School Cheerleading team and their coach Taylor Troutman. With a recording setting number of 107 participants, the fundraising event for the Ralston Cheerleading team will help the team travel to the state competition in early 2015. Not only is this event a fundraiser but also it is designed to help young athletes learn what it is like to be a cheerleader at the high school level. While attending the Little Rams Cheer Clinic, all of the young athletes learn a cheer, a short dance to perform at half time of that night’s football game, and get to spend some quality time with the cheerleading team during a fun team dinner. Even though preparing for the clinic was a great amount of work, all of the team unanimously states that it was a great time and they enjoy seeing all of the younger girls have so much fun!
This year’s Ralston High School cheerleading team is unique in that it is a very young team with only one senior. Added to this unique quality is the fact that there are no team captains. Coach Troutman states the reason that she does not have any captains on her team is “I expect all of my girls to be leaders! They are all excellent leaders and because of this expectation they all have gained self-confidence.” Emily Ochsner, a sophomore on the team, says, “I feel that cheer has made me more of a happy outgoing person who likes to help and make others want to be around me.” Many members of the team have goals to further their education beyond Ralston High school. Lauren Shrader’s dream is to someday become a pediatric occupational therapist and have a family of her own. She hopes to continue cheering throughout college as it has had such a great impact on her life so far. Being a part of the Ralston Cheerleading squad will help all of the team’s young women in achieving their dreams.
While being a member of the Ralston Cheerleading team takes a lot of hard work, determination, and dedication, it is also fun. Fun seems to be one of the best words to describe this team and their coach. Everyone associated with the team thrives on the vitality and spontaneity of the team. Television, especially SpongeBob Square Pants, is only one way that the girls bring goofiness and frivolity into their daily work as the Ralston cheerleaders. Keely Krajeski told We Cover Cheer that one of her favorite things about her team is “every time we are together, we are laughing the entire time”. It is apparent that Coach Taylor and her team have truly made fun the catchphrase of everything they do whether it is support the other Ralston High athletes, host a cheer clinic for the community’s youth, or prepare for the state competition.
Taylor Troutman has been the coach of Ralston cheer the last two years. In High School she was a cheerleader at Millard West and then cheered two years at UNO. In 2013 Coach Troutman tried out for the Kansas City Chiefs and told us it was an amazing opportunity. She also told us that her favorite thing about game day is seeing the excitement on the girl’s faces when they are cheering for their team.
Article written by Jennifer Ericson.