Although she cheered in high school, Wister High School cheer sponsor Hailey Copeland hasn’t been around cheer since then. But for the last three years she has labored to build up the high school and junior high cheer programs and get them more involved in competitive cheer. “This year we have 18 cheerleaders including the school’s first-ever male cheerleader, made up mostly of sophomores and juniors,” said Copeland. “We haven’t been involved in cheer competition before but this year we are going to compete at the Game Day competition in November.”
Getting to that decision and carrying it out have been the focus of preparation since early summer. “We’ve been learning two dances that we’ll perform and we’re having an outside choreographer come in and help us with some of the moves. The girls have to be familiar with football calls and terminology for this competition which is a little tougher because we are not a football-playing school,” said Copeland.
Junior Scotlyn Cooper actually helped get the junior high cheer program started when she was there starting her cheering career. “I like the dancing aspect of cheer and the school spirit involved,” said Cooper whose first name is a derivative of the country where her parents planned their wedding.
In addition to cheer, Scotlyn also ran cross country this year and is in National Honor Society, Gifted and Talented and Gear-Up which is a college prep program. Though she has been a base in the squad’s stunts through the years, this year she is also trying out the role of flyer.
Junior Zuleima Matias got into cheer in junior high though she didn’t really intend to. “I really didn’t think much about cheer but a friend of mine was doing it and she got me to try it and now it’s so fun and exciting,” said Matias who is a secondary base in the team’s stunts.
Zuleima is also in cross country as well as track, Upward Bound, FCCLA, basketball and National Honor Society while also taking concurrent college classes at Carl Albert.
Junior Shelby Schafer started tumbling when she was young and later got into cheer at Heavener where she cheered in fourth through seventh grade. “I love the family atmosphere of our team,” said Shelby who is in National Honor Society, FCCLA and Gear Up.
Sophomore Shaylee Morgan also started tumbling before getting into cheer in the sixth grade and is just getting used to varsity cheer. “I just like comradery of our team,” said Morgan who is in National Honor Society and Gear Up.