New Cheer Coach Raising Expectations

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New Cheer Coach Raising Expectations

Erika Riedel, Business Editor

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A 21-year veteran of coaching cheerleading, Erin Hagerty hopes to bring greater exposure to the sport in her 1st year as the head coach of the Campolindo competition cheer program.

Cheerleaders come to nearly every sporting event with a “smile on their face and a positive attitude,” yet they receive “lackluster support” for their efforts, according to Hagerty.

Though placing 5th in the Jamz Cheerleading Nationals last season, members of the squad continue to feel under appreciated on campus.

Sophomore Caroline Fitzpatrick said, “What we do is so dangerous and I don’t think people realize how hard it is. We want to be as respected as any other Campo sport but most people don’t even know our team exists.”

“Other athletes lift weights, throw or catch a ball. We lift, throw and catch people,” said Hagerty.

Hagerty comes to the Cougars with extensive coaching experience spanning across California, Indiana, and Washington. In addition to coaching at Carondelet High School in Concord, she has led 8 teams to national titles and others to top-10 national finishes.

Hagerty hopes to push her athletes to improve their technique, and intends to make practices as rigorous and focused as possible.

“To be a strong competitive team and stand out among a sea of competitors you must strive for flawless technique. You don’t have to perform the most difficult skills, you need to perform your skills the best of anyone out there,” said Hagerty. “Your only competition is yourself, strive to improve daily and constantly grow to better each day than you were before.”

Hagerty’s coaching style has already made an impact. Fitzpatrick has recognized Hagerty’s ability to help the team “get better” and improve its “organization” compared to last season.

Senior Bella Brocato thinks Hagerty will “put the team in a good place to have a good season.”

“Coach Erin pushes us hard and it’s very beneficial for the team to get the conditioning and work ethic before competitions start. This determination helps the team progress and hopefully win,” said Brocato.

Hagerty intends to foster a positive environment for her athletes, as “seeing each member of the team as an asset and an ally” is more important “than any technical skill we could possess,” she said.

While the coach is a master of the technical aspects of the sport, she is also adamant that athletes leave their baggage at the door and bring their full attention to the task at hand. “I am not a coach who tolerates drama. I am not afraid to send an athlete home from practice or bench them from a competition if I feel they are contributing to a negative environment,” Hagerty added.

This is not to say that Hagerty ignores the emotional needs of her athletes. Brocato has already seen an improvement in the bond within the team as a result of Hagerty creating a “more loving environment” as well as helping “new members of the team to feel welcome through bonding.”

“As a team that represents an academic institution I believe we need to bring the ‘cheer’ back to cheerleading and therefore we are competing with a different, more traditional style routine this year, one that requires the athletes to draw from within and shine outwardly with the most enthusiastic Campo pride possible,”said Hagerty.

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