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Getting Together with Cheer

By Elizabeth Aleo

Photo by Elizabeth Aleo

The Simpson cheer program gets into a new rhythm under Coach Niki Burbank.

The cheer team has a diverse group of athletes. Ranging from dance backgrounds to competitive cheer backgrounds. Elisa Heidebrecht is one of the cheerleaders with a competitive dance background. Coach Niki Burbank has many years of coaching experience under her belt.

Coach Burbank has many years of cheer and coaching experience.

“I started cheering in 5th grade and cheered off and on through high school. I danced before, during, and after my cheer years! I started coaching cheer in 2003 at Leland High School in San Jose, California,” said Burbank via text.

Heidebrecht danced most of her life before cheering.

“I come from a competitive dance background, which I have done most of my life, but did not actually become involved in cheer until I was recruited my senior year. I was recruited my senior year of high school because of my competitive dance background and started working on skills specific to cheer at that point,” Heidebrecht said via text.

Trinity Brown and Valerie Negrete are two of many cheerleaders with competitive cheer backgrounds.

Negrete has been involved in competitive cheer most of her life.

“I started competitive cheer at 7 years old and have been doing it ever since. I picked this sport because I love the feeling of getting new skills and the adrenaline rush before competing,” Negrete said via text.

This year's team is looking way different than last year’s team.

Brown, who is a freshman, explains this year’s potential.

“The team this year is looking good. It has a lot of potential, and I think we can progress to winning competitions because of the time and hard work we’re giving,” Brown said via text.

Heidebrecht compared last year’s team to this year’s team.

“We had a challenging start last year for several reasons, but I feel that going through these situations helped bond those of us who returned and created a solid foundation for this year’s team. We definitely have a lot of potential and as we keep working together, I see us constantly growing and becoming stronger,” Heidebrecht said via text.

She also expressed how this year’s team is looking.

“This year’s team is very special. The dynamic is one that cannot be found on every team, and I think we have a foundation that can take us far,” Heidebrecht said via text.

Coach Burbank has some exciting things for the team to look forward to.

“I’m looking forward to taking the team to compete for the first time! We’re working hard to make a name for ourselves in the NAIA cheer world. We get to take the competition mat in February for the first time in Simpson history,” Coach Burbank said via text.

The cheer schedule is looking busy so far.

“We’re cheering for men’s and women’s basketball while preparing to compete. We will also cheer for men’s volleyball which will be new for us this year!” Coach Burbank said via text.

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