CCS Sports Spotlight
By Marissa Hasnani
McKenna Hayman has attended CCS ever since freshman year and has loved being a part of the cheerleading team! She has cheered for six years now and has developed wonderful friendships on and off the cheer season with her teammates. Being a part of the team helped her a lot, especially being a new student freshman year.
“Cheerleading definitely brought me out of my shell,” she says. “Especially when it came to me entering CCS freshman year, cheerleading provided an outlet of conversation and friendship for me.”
McKenna has made tons of memories, but when asked which her favorite one was, she said, “My favorite memories of cheerleading almost all involve my friends Ava and Anna Killian and Ellie Jenkins. We all bonded through this sport and I am very thankful for them. One time we were all riding in the car with Anna on the way to a game, and on the way there, Anna hit an entire flock of birds and it was the funniest thing at the time.” Her favorite game she cheered at was the away game at Baylor her junior year where she had a great opportunity to bring the spirit of the storm cell to Baylor.
When it comes to being a CCS athlete, McKenna says, “It takes a lot of commitment. It definitely took a lot of commitment and perseverance through the frustrating times that can come with the sport.”
Sports at CCS are all about building meaningful relationships, not just between teammates but also between athletes and coaches. McKenna’s cheer coach (Ashley Holwerda) has made a huge impact on her throughout her time at CCS. McKenna says, “She (Ashley) immediately made me feel welcome my first year at CCS and on the cheer team. She cares a lot about the program, and she definitely lets her cheerleaders know how much she loves us! She invests a lot of her time in us, and I know I could trust her with anything. I am very thankful for her.” Her advice to underclassmen wishing to pursue cheerleading is, “I would say to just persevere and stick with it. It can be really hard sometimes, but looking back I am glad that I stayed with it. The good times definitely outweigh the frustrating times, and I hope the underclassmen treasure all the time they can while participating.” After much consideration, McKenna will be attending Lee University this fall.
Anna has been a CCS Charger since sixth grade and has been a part of the cheer team since seventh grade. When getting into cheer, Anna says that it was very unexpected for her. “I grew up playing basketball and softball which are very different sports,” she says. “It wasn’t until middle school when my friend Miranda practically forced me to try out for the cheer team. I was surprised to later find out that I made the team, and things changed drastically after that moment.” Ever since then, she enjoyed cheering for both the football and basketball teams during the rest of her middle and high school career. When it comes to being a CCS athlete, in particular, Anna explains, “[It] takes a lot of hard work on and off of the field. It requires not only the determination to perform to the best of your ability but also [the ability to] maintain good morals and respect for everyone around us.”
However, as an athlete, there are times when you can not always fulfill every aspect of that. Anna has had her fair share of obstacles, such as trouble with tumbling and a lack of consistency with routines. One of the best ways an athlete can attempt to fix that is by putting it into perspective. To future cheerleaders, Anna would like to encourage them to approach cheerleading with grace as a whole. “An important part in cheerleading is always having a good attitude no matter how hard it can be at times. It’s important to enjoy every second you get to cheer because it is not something that we can do forever. It will eventually go away so it’s important to enjoy it while it lasts.”
This fall, Anna will be attending Tennessee Tech University. “I was really wanting a different and new experience, and I am so excited to begin that next year at Tech,” Anna says. As a takeaway, cheerleading has taught Anna a lot, and she will carry those lessons with her through life. “Cheerleading has taught me how to work hard for something and to never give up on anything which will benefit me through college and life in general.”