The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Cheer Team’s Talented New Coach Encourages Members to Compete

The arrival of new coach Nikia Crawley has brought several modifications to the school’s cheerleading program.

This year, the cheer team will be attending cheer competitions in addition to school football games. Crawley said she wants to bring the team to competitions in order to get the school recognized and encourage the cheerleaders to challenge themselves. Team members look forward to this change, which is something that they have never tried before.

“To be in this competitive league is a whole new experience,” cheer captain senior Randy Jimenez said.

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The management style and the way practices are run have also changed, as Crawley’s past experience with cheerleading and gymnastics have contributed to her arsenal of coaching skills and knowledge. Crawley coached for Branham High School in San Jose before coming to LAHS. She took her previous team to a USA National Cheer Competition where it won first place after an undefeated season. This led Crawley to take the job at LAHS.

“With Branham’s program flourishing, I felt that being able to take another team to the top of their potential would be a new challenge for me,” Crawley said.
Under Coach Crawley’s leadership, the cheer team is held to higher expectations than it was last year.

The team completes six hours of “consistent and productive” weekly practices, according to Crawley.

“I have challenged the team members to give it their all every practice, and I push them because I know how talented everyone is,” Crawley said. “Knowledge is power, and I want the team to know every rule and aspect of cheerleading.”

In addition to her athletic expectations for the team, Crawley demands that all team members be good influences on and off campus.
Although the team’s training is more physically and mentally demanding of its members this year, the cheerleaders trust their new coach’s methods.

“She is over-the-top fabulous and so much more experienced [than our previous coach],” cheer team member junior Annie Frates said. “It used to take us an hour to learn how to do [certain cheer maneuvers]. Now it only takes us 20 minutes.”

Crawley affirms that she directs practices with the improvement of the team as her ultimate goal.

“I am an extremely demanding coach,” Crawley said, “I know at times I might seem like the pickiest coach that is never satisfied, but deep down after every practice I know that the team has grown leaps and bounds from where it started because of the stringent program that is run.”
The team’s first competition will be on Sunday, November 7, at Washington High School in Fremont.

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