‘Sticks in a bundle don’t break’

 HRV CHEERLEADERS rally the crowd during a Friday night home football game. The team will be traveling to Hermiston on Oct. 18, and The Dalles on Oct. 25 for football.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
HRV CHEERLEADERS rally the crowd during a Friday night home football game. The team will be traveling to Hermiston on Oct. 18, and The Dalles on Oct. 25 for football.

As stadium lights shine onto the football field for Friday night games, HRV cheerleaders are always there to pump up the crowd. But what the fans don’t see are the hours of hard work each girl puts in at practice that leads to the success of the team.

The cheer squad at Hood River Valley High School has 26 cheerleaders, all between the ages of 14 and 18. Although there are many diverse personalities and ages, during practice everyone comes together as a team, ready to accomplish their goals.

Unlike most cheer teams, HRV cheerleaders have the privilege of having three coaches: Jennifer Schlosser, Janet Kawachi, and Lindsey Ewald. Kawachi has been coaching cheer at HRV for 18 years, while Schlosser started coaching with her two years later. After cheering for HRVHS and attending college at ASU, Ewald returned to HRV to coach her home team in 2011.

When most people think of cheerleading, they imagine the fall season when most sports seasons take off and football games begin. The HRV cheer team holds tryouts in April so cheer camp and practices can run throughout the summer.

Every single team dinner or event is always made exceedingly special because of the hard work put in by the coaches and parents, who are dedicated to the team. Learning respect, along with numerous other life lessons, is valued among the cheerleaders. The coaches have taught each girl how to respect their team, and their school, regardless of the situation.

“My favorite part about being a cheerleader is how the team bonds and gets along really well, and how it seems like we’ve all known each other forever,” said Nancy Funez, a cheerleader at HRV. “I wanted to be a cheerleader when I was younger, but I never got to do the junior cheer clinic. When I got older I decided to try out, and finally made the team my junior year.”

Funez also mentioned that the HRV cheer squad is unique because members don’t wear their bows in front of their pony tails.

The team has an acronym called “STICKS” which goes with their motto “Sticks in a bundle won’t break,” which symbolizes how teamwork will make a team stronger; but if the sticks aren’t together, they can easily break. Together the team has learned to trust that someone will always be there to catch you when you fall.

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Junior Maddy Graham is a member of the cheer squad and intern with Hood River News through the Summit Career Center.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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