Rejuvenated Cheerleading Team Looks to Boost School Spirit


Jamie Potter

The Nonnewaug cheerleading team poses for a photo this winter.

Izzy DiNunzio, Community and Multimedia Editor

WOODBURY — The Nonnewaug cheerleading program has faced adversity this year, but the Chiefs are not going anywhere.

After starting the season with just five or six members, the program has grown to 10 strong athletes. 

For new coach Jamie Potter, adversity is essential for growth and progress. 

“When I started coaching in January, there were only three girls left from the fall season,” Potter said. “NHS has had a really strong cheer program in the past, and it has been decreasing in popularity each year. I see the NHS cheer program as being in a period of transition, from one coach to another and from a previously competitive [and] experienced team to a new team with lots of first-time cheerleaders. Adversity offers learning opportunities and builds resilience which is necessary for growth and progress.”

Junior Naomi Brooks joined cheerleading shortly after winter break. 

“I’ve been wanting to join cheerleading for a while. I always had an interest in it,” Brooks said. “What I love the most about cheerleading is that it’s not as much a contact sport, it’s not a physically draining sport, but it is still exercise. 

Senior Kaylia Hall had been cheerleading for a year.

“My biggest takeaway from cheerleading has been engaging and learning as a team and not by myself,” Hall said. “It felt good to have other girls join during the winter season and to kind of guide them on how to be a team player.” 

Cheerleading is more than just a sport for Potter. 

“I became a coach because cheerleading was such an important part of my childhood and adolescence. It gave me so many experiences that helped me grow, learn and develop into the person I am now,” said Potter. “I wanted to give back to a sport that had given me so much.” 

Hall says it wasn’t easy working with new team members, but it was worth it. 

“Learning about them in general was a bit hard due to being used to only three girls who were my closest friends,” Hall said. “After working with them for a bit of time, I got used to the way they were, how to engage with them, and how to work as a team.”

Potter leaves a message for Nonnewaug about cheerleading and hopes others will consider joining the team for next fall.

“If I were to give any message to the school about the cheer team is that cheerleading is a sport just like any other,” Potter said. “Our goal is to spread school spirit, increase student morale, support our fellow athletes, and add excitement and pep to the school community. I hope that if anyone is on the fence about joining cheerleading they come to our informational meeting on May 2 and see what we are all about.”