New cheer coaches bring charisma
They stand on the track, tired and sweaty from cheering in the unforgiving sun. The cheerleaders decide to take a break.
Their coaches think otherwise.
“Get back in your lines!” the coaches yell. “Who’s the coach here and who’s the cheerleader?” Their screaming can be heard from across the football field. This is not an atypical cheer practice.
Once again under new leadership, the team has made significant adjustments to the way they operate.
For three years, Ashley Taylor was an assistant coach. This year, she decided to take on the role of head coach since the previous season’s coach moved.
Taylor is not new to Hillsborough or cheerleading. She was a member of the varsity cheer team when she attended Hillsborough. With this being her first year as head coach, she is noticing much more responsibility than she did as an assistant coach.
She has many more tasks than she possessed in the past, but with those additional jobs comes more authority.
However, Taylor is not the only coach in charge of the team. The most recent addition to the cheerleading staff is Loren Nieves, the new assistant coach. This is Nieves’ first year coaching a high school cheer team. She coaches for the Florida Wildcat Allstars, but wanted the high school experience. “I got tired of Allstars, I cheered it and coached it,” Nieves said.
While at Hillsborough, Nieves has noticed distinct differences between high school cheer and the Florida Wildcats. “Allstars has a way more competitive nature,” Nieves said. “[At Hillsborough] I’m isolated to one team. I coach three to four teams at Florida Wildcats.” This makes coaching a high school team seem much more relaxed than the active role she has as a coach outside of school.
Varsity co-captain Cheyene Bruner has noticed some changes since Taylor became the head coach. “The team is more organized, we’ve got done more than what we usually get done,” Bruner said. She also described Nieves as strict, but in a constructive way.
“She gives more discipline, which is needed,” Bruner said. Varsity captain Amara Anderson concurs with Bruner. “[Nieves] keeps us in check,” she said.
The team plans to put in a lot of effort to learn their routines and is eager to win the competitions they participate in. They understand the demands of their coaches and are willing to work to achieve their aspirations.