Archive for the ‘Cheer’ Category

New CHS cheer coach BreAnna Boon reacts to the news of her hiring. (Photos courtesy Boon)

Boon was a state and national champ as an Oak Harbor cheerleader.

“Winning or losing, cheer teaches you to find the silver lining in every situation.”

Now, there’s been a lot of winning in BreAnna Boon’s career, but Coupeville High School’s new cheer coach wants her athletes to be prepared for anything that comes their way.

Having been tabbed for the job just as a new season kicks into gear — she replaces Emily Stevens, who resigned to spend more time with family — Boon, a repeat state champion during her own prep days, is all about preaching positive reinforcement.

“This may sound odd, but what I enjoy most about cheer is the positive spirit it promotes,” she said. “Learning how to stay positive is a great life lesson you learn in cheer.

“Team bonding is another great aspect that you achieve in cheer. The bonds that are created between teammates are some of the strongest around,” Boon added. “It teaches the squad how to work well with each other.

“I coach my kids to be kind, be proud, have fun and be a part of something greater than themselves.”

Boon achieved that goal during her days at Oak Harbor High School, capping a nine-year run as a cheerleader that began way back in third grade.

She was a team captain for the 2006 Wildcat fall cheer squad which was operating at full force when OHHS won a 4A state football title.

The ‘Cat cheer squad actually outdid the football team, winning state titles all four years Boon was in high school and adding a national championship in 2006.

“I enjoyed some incredibly exciting years as a cheerleader,” she said.

After graduation from OHHS, she kept her love affair with cheer going as a coach, continuing a pattern she had started while still in school.

During her days in the purple and gold, Boon operated as a volunteer coach with the local youth program.

That later blossomed into working as a coach and cheer director. In recent years, she worked at Anacortes High School and the Mount Vernon Christian School.

Boon, whose husband Tyson is part of an all-new coaching staff for the CHS football program, jumped when the opportunity to coach the Wolves unexpectedly opened.

“My goal has always been to acquire a position here on Whidbey Island, as this is my home,” she said. “I love the small-town feel that Coupeville has to offer.

“A small town means a tight-knit community. And a tight-knit community means everyone stands proud together,” Boon added. “Cheerleading is a activity that helps bring together a school and community in a unique way – around sports.”

The idea of community, of giving back, of having people work together to create something bigger than themselves, is very important to the new Wolf coach.

“My goals are to unite cheerleading with all the other sports teams,” Boon said. “I want the teams to know that the squad has their back no matter what. Win or lose, we will always show our support and pride.

“As a coach, one of my goals is to teach the cheerleaders to take pride in their community,” she added. “I am huge on community service and being able to give back in one way or another, is very important.

“The community does a lot for the school, and this is our way of saying thank you. So contact me if you have some community service for us!”

In the past, Coupeville cheer operated both on the sidelines and in competition. With her own extensive background in competitive cheer, Boon has an eye on bringing back those days, but admits it won’t happen tomorrow.

“Right now fall season is just starting, so I am 100% focused on that,” she said. “I want to build a strong squad that will be ready for whatever season it is.

“We will work starting from the ground up in order to put forth a top-notch cheer program,” Boon added. “Competition season is another incredible side to cheer. I would eventually like to bring competition back to CHS, but for now we are doing one step at a time!”

As she begins to work with her cheerleaders, Boon will be putting down the building blocks for the future.

Like former longtime CHS cheer guru Sylvia Arnold, she wants an inclusive squad which brings pride to its community, in game and out.

“I want to show the town of Coupeville that cheerleading is so much more than the stereotypical stigma that follows it,” Boon said. “It’s about how the squad can impact and make a significant difference not only in the school but the community as well.

“They are cheerLEADERS. We may be cheering on the sidelines, but I expect them to have LEADING roles at all times,” she added. “They are role models, in uniform or not. The squad will be setting the bar pretty high with our leadership on and off the field.”

Whether they are with her for one season or four, Boon’s goal is for each of her athletes to exit head held high, proud of what they accomplished and able to look back on their prep careers with the same joy she feels when she remembers her own journey.

“My goal for these kids, is to help them grow not only as a cheerleader, but also as an individual,” she said. “I hope to help them see the greatness in themselves as well as each other and to be able to appreciate it.

“Everyone who is on the squad is an important part of a very big team,” Boon added. “I want them to be able to take away great friendships and memories that will last throughout the years.”

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Mckenzie Meyer, ready to unleash sweet sounds. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Her future’s so bright, she has to wear shades.

The absolute master of the positive approach.

She was just born talented.

I have known Mckenzie Meyer since the day she popped in to the world, the first of two children born to Sarah and Frank Meyer.

That was back in the lazy, hazy glory days of being paid to watch movies (and do a little managerial work) at Videoville, a 12-year run in which I worked for Mckenzie’s grandmother, Miriam.

The newest Meyer made her video store debut at a very young age, and from the first moment she eyeballed all of us from her perch on the counter, she radiated intelligence.

And I don’t mean she just seemed smart.

I mean she seemed like she was going to cure a disease while solving world hunger while also teaching herself to read Mandarin in the two minutes of free time she had every day.

It’s a feeling which has increased every day since.

Mckenzie is too smart, and too talented, and too awe-inspiring, for one small town on a rock in the middle of the water in the Pacific Northwest to contain, but we here in Coupeville have benefited immensely from what time we have had her here.

Today, I’m inducting her into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

In the moment, that’s something (maybe not epic, but worthy of a nod at least), being enshrined inside these hallowed digital walls.

After this, you’ll find her up at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab.

And, about two seconds after she lands up there, she’ll probably win a much-bigger, much-better award or three.

I feel fully confident that in a few years or so, being in my little, sorta fake Hall o’ Fame should still be at least the 245th biggest thing she’s done. Maybe…

Mckenzie, as much as any high school athlete or student I have seen come through Cow Town, is fated to be big. Like world famous big.

She has a personality which is a mixture of joy and wonderment, and she charges full-tilt at any and every obstacle or opportunity with a grin which wraps up the whole world in a hug.

Give her a sport, any sport, and she did well.

In cheer, she was a volcano erupting, showering everyone with school spirit. A captain who was the loudest, the proudest, and the first to pick up her teammates, those she was cheering for, and the fans.

It could be an epic win or a crushing defeat, and Mckenzie tackled things with the same glee, the same desire to make every performance the best she ever delivered.

And if lil’ bro Caleb was playing? Miss Meyer could turn the sound system up to 120, thank you very much.

Her spirit and never-say-die attitude carried over to her time on the soccer pitch, the tennis court, and the world of track and field, where she competed in a gazillion events, including holding the school record in the pole vault.

Sports, though, are but a small sliver of what makes Mckenzie the whirlwind she is.

She was a veteran of the stage, bouncing from comedy to drama as an award-worthy thespian.

A woman born to wail when you put a sax in her hand and fired up the band.

Toss her into the cutthroat world of Science Olympiad? She made Einstein sit up in his grave, just so he could bow in appreciation of her skill.

Look, I’m not impartial here.

I think Mckenzie is one of the most talented, kind, brilliant people on the face of this planet.

Seeing her grow up, holding on to the fire that burns brightly inside, while always challenging herself and achieving remarkable things, has been great.

I think the world of this young woman. Did when she was a few days old, did when she first went to school, do today, and will many years down the road.

There’s a ton of reasons to induct Mckenzie into my Hall o’ Fame.

The biggest one? She classes up the joint.

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Lucy Sandahl is ready to return to the court. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Flip the calendar and refocus your mind.

August has arrived, which means, in less than three weeks, practice officially begins for fall high school sports.

No, it’s true. I swear.

Aug. 15 is the first day high school football teams can take the field in Washington state, while Aug. 20 is the kickoff date for volleyball, cross country, cheer, boys tennis and girls soccer.

With a new season, and a new school year, also comes a new league.

After a four-year run in the Olympic League, Coupeville joins Granite Falls, Sultan, Cedar Park Christian (Bothell), King’s and arch-rival South Whidbey in the North Sound Conference.

As they count down the days until the first practice, several Wolves (and one enterprising Falcon) drop by to let you know their thoughts and feelings, their goals and plans.


Ja’Tarya Hoskins (CHS junior):

My new goals for the cheer season are to learn and perform a lot of new stunts. Help spread cheer and Coupeville Wolves spirit.


Lily Leedy (CHS freshman):

To work better as a team. Learn plays and to show the opponent who’s boss.


Kody Newman (SWHS senior):

Very excited for this year’s conference! But most importantly…. THE BUCKET GAME!!!

Not only is it the biggest game of the Island, but it is also our Homecoming game! Ticket sales are sure to be raised for this game!!! Falcons are coming for revenge!

Best of luck this year to the Wolves and hopefully King’s does terrible, lol!


Lucy Sandahl (CHS junior):

My goal for the new season is to play every game with a new mind-set and put all the bad plays behind me and focus on the next point.

Another thing that I am looking forward to is getting to see how well our team adapts to all the new plays and players after having lost seven really strong seniors.

This new league has so much hype, but so do we; we’ve won two back-to-back league champs.

What makes them think we can’t do it again? We are strong, faster, and mentally unstoppable.

The only way we are going to get through this is together and it is going to be such a great season!!! I am so excited!


Emma Smith (CHS senior):

We want a winning season!!

Playing as a unit instead of six individuals is something we’ve been working on since last year, and is extremely crucial for us to do considering we pretty much have a new starting six.

We also want to go into the season confident in our skills and without the fear of “big, bad King’s.”

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CHS cheer coach Emily Stevens is resigning to spend more time with family. (Photo courtesy Stevens)

Coupeville High School is on the search for a new cheer coach.

Emily Stevens, who returned in 2017 to run the Wolf program that she was once part of as a cheerleader, is leaving to spend more time with family.

Acceptance of her resignation is on the agenda for next Monday’s school board meeting.

Stevens departure follows that of her assistant coach, Amanda Jones, another Wolf cheer alumni who also recently stepped down to devote more time to family.

With a new season right around the bend, and CHS cheerleaders holding summer practices, school officials will likely need to move quickly to find a replacement.

The decision to step down was not an easy one for Stevens, but one she felt she needed to make as she juggles work, family and being a mother to a young, fun-loving son.

“I’m pretty upset about it; there were a lot of things I wanted to do this season and in the future,” she said. “But the team deserves someone that can give 100% of themselves.”

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Ja’Kenya Hoskins powers to the hoop for a bucket. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Hoskins and Izzy Wells lead a strong group of female athletes who arrive at CHS as freshmen this fall.

The third sister is on her way, and she plans to be just as spectacular as her older siblings.

Ja’Kenya Hoskins, who will be a freshman at Coupeville High School in the fall, joins Ja’Tarya as a Wolf, while both follow in the footsteps left by legendary big sis Jai’Lysa.

It’s a family of superstars, comprised of exuberant, talented, strong young women who excel in the classroom and in the arena.

And whatever you do, don’t sleep on Ja’Kenya, who could quite easily be the most explosive athlete in the trio.

The youngest sister is a beast on the boards, ripping rebounds away from tentative rival players, then sprinting down-court to pick up easy buckets.

Put Ja’Kenya on the track, and she has jets in her feet, zinging around the oval in a style very similar to both older sisters.

Once she hits CHS, the youngest Hoskins plans to add cheer to her long list of accomplishments, just like Jai’Lysa and Ja’Tarya.

While she enjoys all of her pursuits (rare is the time when the outgoing young star isn’t flashing a smile as she bops through life), Hoskins gives an edge to hoops.

She and a tight group of teammates have played together for several years now, winning titles and reviving memories of Wolf juggernauts of the past.

“I would say basketball is my favorite sport, because of how it’s not just about you,” Hoskins said. “It’s about the teamwork and being there for your teammates.

“What I like most about being an athlete is being a part of a team and learning you can’t blame everything on your team,” she added. “You have to accept responsibility for your actions.”

On the hardwood Hoskins is an intense defender, and one quick to dive for loose balls or end up in a wrestling match for a rebound.

While she wants to maintain her intensity, she realizes she needs to pick her moments to go full-tilt.

“I would say some of my strengths as an athlete are I’m determined to the very end and I will put my full 100 percent in everything,” Hoskins said. “Areas I’d like to work on are keeping my cool, mainly in basketball.”

When she’s not playing or practicing, she likes to hang out with friends, both online and in person.

That carries over to people from other schools as well, as a common sight at middle school games was Hoskins delivering enthusiastic hugs to many of the rival players when they arrived in the CMS gym.

She knew all of them, they knew her, and every game was like a happy reunion for both sides.

Hoskins, who wants to “go to state at least once in track and basketball,” deeply appreciates her large support crew.

“People who have helped me make me the person I am are my Swish teammates like Isabelle (Wells), Kylie (Van Velkinburgh), Anya (Leavell), and Kiara (Contreras).

“My family always supports me in all my sports and always pushes me to do more.”

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