Posts Tagged ‘Cheer’

Kylie Burdge, Hall o’ Famer. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Kiara (Burdge) Aguirre joins her big sis in being inducted.

They were born to be stars.

At least it seems that way, as, in all my seasons of watching Coupeville High School cheerleaders at work, few made the kind of memorable impact that the Burdge sisters did.

Kylie and Kiara, in seasons together and apart, embraced the cheer game, their coaches, teammates, and fellow students, and their community, with great fervor.

They weren’t just content to be cheerleaders, but were front and center all the way, thanks to a ton of hard work and naturally vibrant personalities.

The sister duo could be loud (when it mattered most), were always proud, and led by example, both rising to be captains in the Wolf program.

Away from the sidelines, they were brilliant students, both finishing their run at CHS in the top ten of their class academically.

You can also add in that they were as friendly and outgoing as any Wolf athletes I have ever written about, and passionate about their beliefs and convictions.

It’s not always easy to stand up and be publicly committed to your religion as teenagers, but Kylie and Kiara have always been open about their deep love for their Mormon faith, and I give them a lot of credit for that.

Whether you’re part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or not (and I’m not), it shouldn’t be hard to respect others for their beliefs, especially if they show a deep commitment and reverence for their faith, as the Burdge sisters always have.

But today, a couple of days after Kiara’s wedding day, we’re putting the focus primarily on their athletic achievements, since this blog is, technically at least, concerned with covering sports.

The debate over whether cheer is a sport should have ended a long time ago.

It’s a sport, and its athletes put in as much or more work than those in any other pursuit.

End of story.

And when we hail cheerleaders, especially those who have done their work while reppin’ the red and black of Coupeville, you have to include Kylie and Kiara.

Attend any game during their time in uniform, and it was obvious they loved cheer, and the chance to support their classmates.

Any awards they won — and there were more than a few — were well deserved, as the sisters brought a zing and a real sense of style to everything they did as Wolf cheerleaders.

They provided leadership and friendship to those around them, and were ideal role models for the young athletes coming up behind them on the youth cheer teams.

Want to know how high cheerleaders can soar in life, and all they can accomplish? The Burdge sisters are a great place to start.

So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that today we induct them into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, you’ll find Kylie and Kiara hanging out up at the top of the blog, gettin’ loud ‘n proud under the Legends tab.

Exactly where they belong.

Sister superstars, on the cheer sidelines and in life. (Photo courtesy Trina Burdge)

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Coupeville grad Jazmine Franklin continues to take the art world by storm. (Photos courtesy Franklin)

It’s a win-win.

You can make a visible commitment to backing the Black Lives Matter movement, while supporting one of Coupeville’s most talented grads.

Jazmine Franklin was a student leader and standout two-sport athlete (tennis and cheer) during her days at CHS, and she continues to excel as an adult.

Her artwork is eye-catching, such as in the piece seen below.

A recent Franklin art work.

Franklin’s newest project is a series of Black Lives Matter designs, which can be ordered on t-shirts and hoodies.

She can also do custom items such as long sleeve shirts, tank tops, onesies, and toddler items upon request.

For orders or questions, contact Franklin at JZMNOriginals@gmail.com.

Three designs, one cause.


Current offerings:

T-shirts (Gildan200)
$15 each plus shipping


White lettering on:

Charcoal grey
Royal blue


Black lettering on:

Safety green (neon)
Hot pink


Hoodies (Gildan185)
$30 each plus shipping


White lettering on:
Garnet (reddish maroon)
Charcoal grey
Royal blue

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Coupeville grad Mica Shipley will be an NCAA D-1 cheerleader at Eastern Washington University this fall. (Photos courtesy Tammy Akard and BreAnna Boon)

She’s in the game for life.

Mica Shipley broke into cheerleading at a young age, and her love of the sport has never faded.

On all-star teams by age six, it was all uphill from there.

Already a star at a young age.

The 2020 Coupeville High School grad rose through the ranks, capping her time in Cow Town as a team captain for a resurgent Wolf cheer program.

With Shipley flying high, CHS returned to competitive cheer during her junior season, and immediately made an impact, claiming 3rd at the state tourney.

She and her Wolf teammates followed that up by making it to nationals during her senior campaign.

Shipley also was chosen to model for Glitter Starz, an Illinois-based company which is a national leader in custom all-star uniforms, warm-ups, and other cheer essentials.

But, as much as she accomplished during her high school days, that won’t be the end of her cheer career.

Shipley, who will be attending Eastern Washington University to study nursing, with plans to become an OBGYN, has been picked for the school’s cheer squad.

EWU, whose alumni include NFL wide receiver Cooper Kupp, legendary comic book artist Todd McFarlane, and Olympic gold medal shooter Launi Meili, competes as an NCAA D-1 school.

When selecting her new school, Shipley was looking for a comfortable fit, and she found it in Cheney.

“I chose EWU because it gave me that hometown feel without it being super small like Coupeville,” she said. “And it’s also not too far away from home.”

To earn her spot on the Eagles cheer roster, Shipley had to go through several levels of tryouts, all adjusted to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I had to do an online tryout video. They sent me a dance, fight song, and some cheers,” Shipley said.

“I also had to send in videos of me stunting and tumbling.”

After making the first cut, it was time for interviews with the coaches.

“They asked me how I would describe myself and how my relationships were with my past teammates and coaches,” Shipley said. “We mostly all just got to know each other.”

The official announcement came Thursday, and CHS cheer coach BreAnna Boon immortalized the moment by sneaking down to Shipley’s job and decorating her car.

Shipley’s car gets some love.

“Eastern Washington is incredibly lucky to have her be a part of the team,” Boon said.

“They don’t know it yet, but she is the perfect addition and I’m planning to catch her live at a game!”

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Ashleigh Battaglia is the newest member of the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

She’s joined there by Mica Shipley.

Whether competing with the CHS squad, or on their own, the duo soared to great success. (Photo courtesy BreAnna Boon)

The debate is settled, at least for me.

Cheerleading is a sport, and cheerleaders are athletes.

It has been ever so.

There have been 16 cheerleaders previously inducted into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, a mix of multi-talented athletes from Amanda Fabrizi to Rose Bergdoll to David Torres.

Today, we welcome the 17th and 18th Wolf cheer squad vets to our digital clubhouse, with the CHS senior duo of Mica Shipley and Ashleigh Battaglia joining the elite.

After this, when you look at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab, you’ll find the high-flying spirit superstars right where they belong.

Mica and Ashleigh have been at the forefront of Coupeville cheer for years now, whether as fast-rising newcomers or as experienced captains.

During their time at CHS, the Wolf spirit program has returned to competitive cheer, adding new moves, new stunts, and a new energy to their work on the sidelines.

Leading the return to the competition mats, Mica and Ashleigh spurred the Wolves to a 3rd place finish at the state tournament as juniors, then led their squad all the way to nationals in their final season on campus.

There was a time period, back when Hall o’ Fame coach Sylvia Arnold led the CHS program, when Coupeville competed on a regular basis, bringing home banners and trophies, including a state title.

Now, after a stretch of years in which the school chose not to compete, the Wolves are back in the thick of vying for team glory, with current coach BreAnna Boon encouraging the change.

What’s been the biggest surprise is not that Coupeville has been successful in its first two years back in competition, but that the Wolves have soared so high, so fast.

I believe a large part of the credit for that rebirth goes to Mica and Ashleigh.

To truly grow a program, you need captains who lead through words and action, with sweat and work, with an unshakable belief in themselves and their teammates.

Few have put in the time and effort that this all-star duo have.

As individuals, they are talented, strong young women, both with different skill-sets, but both utterly committed — walking, talking, backflipping testaments to never backing down and never giving in.

Together, as friends, leaders, and athletes, they show their classmates, their teammates, and the world, how much Coupeville teens can accomplish.

Whether meshing as part of the Wolf team, or going off on their own to compete in high-caliber cheer events, Mica and Ashleigh have earned our respect and admiration.

Witness the work they put in to their sport, the long, physically-demanding practices, the constant chase of perfection in events in which even the slightest of errors can be devastating, and you see two of the best we can claim as our own.

Through fall and winter cheer seasons, through off-season work and through countless performances, the duo have shined a positive light on their town, their school, their families, and, ultimately, themselves.

CHS cheer is better for Mica and Ashleigh having worn the Wolf uniform, and, as they prepare to head out into the world to write the next chapters in their story, I have no doubt both will succeed at whatever path they choose.

Look at their drive and work ethic, than add in that both of them have always come across as intelligent, outgoing young women who embrace family and friends with great passion, and it’s a pretty easy prediction to make.

As they have progressed from middle school to high school, Mica and Ashleigh have grown in confidence, refined their skill as athletes, and embraced their opportunities.

But their star quality, the special light which both project to the world, has always been there, since day one.

They have devoted time and effort, and given their all, to cheering for their classmates, to stoking the fire of spirit, and to making Coupeville a better place.

Today, we return the favor and cheer for the cheerleaders – two young women of remarkable class, accomplishment, and promise.

Hall o’ Famers in every way.

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Ja’Tarya Hoskins (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

With Washington state schools closed due to the spread of COVID-19, we’re offering all Whidbey Island students a chance to be heard and stay connected.

Ja’Tarya Hoskins, who wrote the following poem, is a senior at Coupeville High School.


Dear COVID-19,

Before you came,
The sun shone a little bit brighter
The air was soft and sweet
The moon congratulated us on a new day
The night was always bright and filled with life

Graduation was drawing close
Seniors got anxious but excited
They had waited their entire life for this one moment
One last season to compete for; one last hurrah

During your vacation,
The sun was clouded with dark clouds
The air was harsh and hostile
The moon insults us with the sorrow of another day
The night grew darker and mysterious filled with anguish

One by one rescissions of senior year
School was forced closed
Spring sports came to a halt
Senior activities were discontinued

After your demolition,
The sun peeked through the clouds
The air was blowing away the fog
The moon broke through the sorrow
The night regained the motion of life

Class of 2020 gathered together
Friends hugged and cried at the mess
The mess that destroyed everything
But everything happened for a reason

Once again, dear COVID-19
But remember
There was a life before you
And there will be a life after you

The Class of 2020

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