Seneca cheer coach Nita Hanes who Prep Sports recently interviewed about her own life also spoke with us about the team.
PREP SPORTS: What are the goals of the team this season?
This season was a brand new season for the girls. I have worked with many of them in the past as a choreographer but this is the first year that I am their coach. They are such a talented group of young ladies, but this year we are focusing on ourselves as individuals and ourselves as a team. What can we do to be better? What can I do to better help my team? The girls are focused on one another and becoming even better community leaders and really increasing their community and crowd involvement at games. As a team, our competition goal is to win a 4 peat. In the past, we have been very blessed to be on a winning streak and this year would be the 4th year in a row to be State Champions. That is the team goal.
PREP SPORTS: What was the team’s best moment from last season?
I was not with the girls last season but I think their best moment was coming together as a team to win another state championship after having a rough start to the competition season.
PREP SPORTS: Who is the team’s dynamic duo, and why?
This Seneca team is extremely blessed to have so many close friends on the team. We have those that are funny, silly, the out-spoken ones, the quiet ones, and of course, they are all talented. Most of these girls have cheered together since 3rd grade and have literally grown up together. We have our seniors who have been together the longest. My captain, Taya Stewart and co-captain Annie Caputo as well as my other 2 seniors, Sydnee Staley and Bailee Adams are amazing. Their comradery is inspiring and they are incredible role models for the whole team. Everyone on this team steps up. They work hard and it shows. Their drive and ambition make me proud as a coach.
PREP SPORTS: What is the team’s favorite memory together?
We have had so many memories so far but camp is where it all started. It is the time where you learn all about your teammates; their quirks, likes, dislikes, frustrations, happy moments, etc. It is the beginning of their bonding process and where the respect for one another begins.
PREP SPORTS: What has been the biggest impression the team has made on you (the coach), and why?
The biggest impression is their love for the sport. I am so incredible passionate about this sport and they mimic that passion. These girls amaze me each and every day to the point of tears. I tend to get made fun of because I always get choked up when we pray or when I talk about performances. Like I mentioned earlier, I have worked with most of these athletes for several years and they are just so impressive. It starts with each individual. You can look at each one of my girls and see their love for cheer. And with a whole team who have the same goal equals magic.
PREP SPORTS: What is your favorite part of working with this team?
Unfortunately, I cannot pick just one thing. Their faith, talent, their drive, their ambition, their love for the sport, their enthusiasm, and their overall demeanor. We are a close squad and it is because of our faith and closeness why we continue to progress and become better each and every day.
PREP SPORTS: Does the team participate in any community service projects?
The team is constantly involved with the community but they are usually within our fundraisers. For example, every year we host a Little Indian Cheer clinic for grades Pre-K-6. During the clinic, the kids learn 2 chants, a dance, and our fight song. After a 3 day clinic, the participants receive a shirt and also get to perform at the beginning of a high school football game.
PREP SPORTS: Are you any players involved in academic excellence activities such as the National Honor Society, Student Council, or other academic clubs?
Yes, multiple of my athletes are in several activities. That is one reason why I am so proud of them as individuals. They are constantly pushing themselves to be better each and every day.