The junior high and high school cheerleading teams have a new leader on campus. Coach Hope Villines took the reigns from previous coach Courtney Raymundo for the new season, and hopes to renew campus spirit. There is excitement in the air and the girls are ready for a new year of cheer.
Originally from Dinuba, Villines’ initial interest was in football. As a seventh grader, she hoped to be the first girl to play on her football team. When she did not make the team, she joined cheerleading because it was the closest way she could get to the game. Since joining the team, she continued to cheer throughout high school and college.
Coaching cheer for the last 15 years, Villines wants people to see Christ when they watch the team perform.
“I am more pumped than ever for the new school year,” Villines said. “I want to make a difference in the lives of the girls, bringing them closer to Christ. That’s the biggest thing for me on this campus, I want other teams to see Jesus through the girls.”
Brooklynn Barth, ’16, expresses her admiration and appreciation for her new coach and her determination.
“Coach Villines brings such joy and determination to our team,” Barth said. “She wants to see us utilize our abilities for God’s glory while also coaching us to be encouragers and leaders. Her love for cheer and God is evident. She is not only a coach but a Godly woman that I look up to.”
In her free time, Villines supports her two children, Tyler, ’18, and Hannah, ’20, whether it be on the field for sports or during chapel for worship. She loves watching sport games with her family. Her husband is a director of business development, where he helps employees build new businesses.
Over the summer, the high school cheer team participated in a two day camp at Azusa Pacific University, where they were awarded the Spirit Award, Camp Champs and Best Home Cheer. The team was also offered the chance to be a part of Nationals in Florida.
While at camp Brooklyn Ainley, ’17, won the award for Best Tumbler.
“We got up at six every morning, and spent time learning dances and cheers. There were stunting and sideline classes, where we learned cheers to do at football games. At night, different schools gathered together for Tumble Jam which was a competition for the best tumblers. I performed a round off back tuck and won the award for Best Tumbler.”
Cheer has the potential to be dangerous, so Villines wants to make sure the girls are taught proper technique.
“Our goal for safety is to make sure the girls know and practice how they should perform. A strong base for pyramids while stunting is very important,” said Villines. “and the correct way to fall and be caught are a few of the things they need to learn in a limited amount of time.”
Cheerleader Cayla Rivas,’18, shares how she is encouraged by Hope.
“I’ve been in cheer three years, since eighth grade when she convinced me to join,”said Rivas.”She is a very genuine person, she says it how it is and knows how to help us overcome our fears and conquer things that we don’t necessarily want to.”
She is excited to reach new goals, and see her team grow in their ability to perform. With a full year ahead there is a team with the potential for great things, and a coach to help them reach greatness.
This author can be reached via twitter:@_ElizabethAnn16
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