It's neat to repeat.
It’s neat to repeat.
For the second consecutive year, the Seven Lakes High School Cheer Team won the UIL Class 6A, Division 1 state title, prevailing in a statewide competition held in Fort Worth.
Seven Lakes cheerleading coach Amy Weaston said a good cheerleader is someone who is willing to learn, accept critiques and criticism, and learn from it. They need to be able to be coached.
“I loved the girls who can be coached,” Weaston said, adding that not all cheerleaders or athletes are that way. “We see some girls come into the program and feel they’re better than everyone else.”
Being coachable is important to Weaston. She herself credited two mentors, Rhonda Ward and Christie Whitbeck, for her own career. Weaston said Whitbeck brought her to Seven Lakes.
“She was amazing,” Weaston said. “Those two ladies expected greatness and nothing less. They made me be a better teacher, a better human being. They taught me to lead with grace, and about classroom management. Those ladies really shaped who I am today. I know what my mentors have done for me and I want to pay it forward. I want to teach my students to mentor others.”
Like any teacher, Weaston knows her subject. Her background includes stints as a high school cheerleader, college cheerleader, and cheerleading coach. She was a cheerleading coach at the University of Houston and at Cinco Ranch Junior High School before coming to Seven Lakes.
At many schools, Weaston said, the cheerleaders get a sponsor—that is, someone who teaches a particular topic during the day, but then focuses on the cheerleaders during the designated period. Not at Seven Lakes, where Weaston is the coach. Her full focus is on the cheerleading team. Each of the nine Katy Independent School District high schools have cheerleading coaches.
“What I love about our program is that when they come to Seven Lakes, they’re getting a coach, and not a sponsor, and the kids know that, too,” Weaston said. “The high school coaches are amazing.”
Cheerleading season starts during the summer and lasts through part of the following spring. It depends on the teams the cheerleaders are supporting and the seasons they are having. Cheerleaders can be seen doing their thing at football, volleyball, boys basketball and girls basketball games.
“It’s really cool to be able to cheer for all of those things,” Weaston said. “It makes for a really long season. We start in July and don’t finish until the playoffs are over. Sometimes that can be quite a while.”
Cheerleading includes signs, pom poms, and the like, but Weaston said there was one main objective.
“Our main objective is to get the crowd involved,” Weaston said. “Get the crowd to yell with us. That’s why we use signs and megaphones and all those things. That’s one of the best parts about being a cheerleader at Seven Lakes. When we yell, we want the crowd to yell with us. We want the crowd to be super-engaged. And it is really exciting when they yell with us.”
While Seven Lakes brought home the state title, other Katy ISD teams also had something to cheer about—pun intended.
The 2022 Conference UIL State Spirit Championship took place in Fort Worth. It focused on showcasing cheer technical skills and sideline crowd-leading material in a game-day presentation format.
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