Cheer Recap 2021


Maria Coleman, Sophomore Cheerleader and Journalist

This year’s Competitive Cheer team made Nationals on their first try. Ending the 2021 football season with a 11-1 record, the senior cheerleaders recap their season. 


First I asked, which game was your personal favorite and why?

Shannon Shaughnessy: “My favorite game of the season was the Shaler game. That game was so exciting and crazy, as we went into overtime and still won against a team in the division above us.”

Kelsie Lang: “I loved all the games this season. There were so many good ones, and I would have never expected to be 10-0 in the regular season. This has been a great season and no game has been better than another.”

Bella Adkins: “I think senior night was my favorite because I was really looking forward to it all throughout my years of cheering, and it was just overall an exciting day.”

Kendall Pryal: “I honestly cannot pick a favorite. I was genuinely happy to have a normal season this year, each game seemed to be even better than the next. However, I particularly loved our game at Knoch Stadium. Nothing compares to singing and dancing to “Hey, Baby” in the rain.”


Next, I asked, Why was the Slippery Rock competition so successful?

Shaughnessy: “The comp was so successful due to all our hard work throughout the season and the leadership of our coach Kathy Long.” 

Lang: “This year, the girls really worked together. We all wanted that national invitation and wanted to succeed. The past years have been filled with so much arguing, but this year, it was like working with a family. We all love each other and get along so well.”

Adkins: “I think the comp was so successful because we all encouraged each other and all applied ourselves as much as we could, since we knew it was our one and only chance to go to Nationals in Disney World.”

Pryal: “I solely believe our competition was so successful because of the girls on the squad. Each of us carry such different assets that harmonize well together. I cannot wait to take on nationals together.” 


What made this team work together better than previous years? 

Shannon: “This year’s comp team worked much better than past years because of our unity and dedication to our goals. In the past, there has been team drama and distractions, but this year we all really work together!”

Kelsie: “It’s hard to pick out what’s different. We were so close with the girls last year but they were not inclusive. They had all their own things in their lives and we couldn’t work together the way we can this year. There was more arguing and tears than any other season. We are a close group of girls this year that treat each other with kindness.” 

Bella: “The different personalities really brought us together this year. Everyone is so uniquely different and all have their own talents, so altogether we work very well.” 

Kendall: “Especially due to COVID-19, last year we weren’t looking forward to anything and we barely had a football season. This year, many [of our] sports teams are performing better than they ever have. A more positive environment has been created in the way of athletics and it has fostered growth in our team for sure.” 

Obviously, the competition teams in the past have had some rough patches with team drama, but this year everyone agrees that this has changed. This year’s competition team has grown and added girls with so much talent and potential, and these girls won’t let that go to waste. This year, everyone is working together and looking forward to cheer games, competitions, or even practices. 


Has this year been a struggle, or has it been easy?

Shannon: “This year has been pretty easy compared to others. There was not a global pandemic getting in the way, and the team has a lot of talent.”

Kelsie: “My senior year has been the best I’ve had yet. I had an undefeated year. A great comp season so far and we had a bid the first try, and that has never happened before. This has definitely been an easier year and I love it so far, I’m really looking forward to what else this season has to offer.”

Bella: “Honestly this year has been easier than previous years just because our team is so close and we all get along so well. In contrast to previous years, practices are something to look forward to instead of no one wanting to go.”

Kendall: “Honestly, this year has been a dream. I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls to be on the squad. I am so proud of our football team for such an amazing season, it is really fun to cheer when your team is winning! Being a captain with one of my best friends, Bella Adkins, has additionally been amazing. We work really well together and it has only made the season more memorable.” 


Finally, I asked, Will you miss cheer and the girls that you’ll be leaving behind?

Shaughnessy: “I will miss cheer probably the most of all. The thing I’ll miss the most that I’ll be leaving behind at Hampton is the feeling of hitting a routine or going to Disney with all of your best friends.” 

Lang: “I’m of course going to miss cheer and all the girls. I have come so close with them in such a short amount of time, and I know I will miss them all when I leave for college. Cheer has been in my life since the 7th grade, and it’s definitely going to be a strange adjustment without it.”

Adkins: “I’m going to miss cheer so much! Cheer is the best part of my high school experience! I’ll definitely be back in the future to support the Hampton Cheer Squad and revisit the team. I’m going to miss cheer more than anything when I graduate.” 

Pryal: “Absolutely. My high school experience has truly been amazing, especially this year. Cheerleading will forever be a part of me, and it has shaped me into the person I am today. As much as I will miss it, all good things come to an end. As for the underclassmen, I am extremely lucky to have created relationships with each of you. I can only hope that our program continues to become stronger as years pass.”