By: Rebecca Miller
Brandie Bailey has been the Cheerleading Coach at North Central for the past fifteen years and says that the Mini Eagle Cheer Program was well established before she was involved.
“I’m not sure who actually came up with the idea of mini cheer, but they certainly hit it out of the park,” Bailey said.
“It has been a sustainable staple of our cheer program at NC. Our fans truly enjoy the halftime entertainment by those who could potentially be our future cheerleaders.”
The high school cheerleaders and Bailey plan out what the minis will do at their performances and always have them perform at a girls’ basketball game and a boys’ basketball game.
“That way we reach different crowds,” Bailey explained. Since we do two performances, we plan two separate showcases.”
“That way if we have fans that attend both events, they are seeing two different shows.”
The high school cheerleaders teach all of the material to the Mini Cheer Squad.
The junior high cheer team is involved as well in helping to teach and manage the minis. The junior high coach and Bailey oversee the mini practices and help where needed and feel strongly that it is a rewarding challenge for the cheerleaders.
“With an average of 50 minis per year, you need all-hands-on-deck,” Bailey said. “The HS and JH cheerleaders have no idea how important it is to make those connections with our elementary kiddos.”
“Young children look up to people like the cheerleaders and other athletes. I always tell my girls that all eyes are on you and ears are always listening.”
“Be good role models, make good choices, and always know that you are representing our program at all times especially when you wear the uniform.”
“I believe that in the world we live in today, our youth need as many positive role models as possible.”
But she believes it is just as important for the cheerleaders as it is for the little girls, stating, “As much fun as it is to see the minis be a part of our program and learn with hopes and aspirations to be like the “big girls” someday, my girls learn valuable lessons as well: love, kindness, respect, patience, and understanding.”
“It gives my girls a chance to see what it’s like to enjoy small rewards like watching a young lady be so excited to be a part of something like cheerleading.”
“Mini cheer is a great part of our cheer program at North Central and I hope that it continues for many more years to come.”
“Watching their faces light up with excitement (and some hesitation) as they walk in that gym to perform in front of our crowd gives such a feeling of joy.”
“The happiness is pure for both the minis and the crowd that is watching.”
Bailey continued, “Over the years, the cheerleaders have gained many “small fans/admirers” because of mini cheer and it is so heartwarming to watch their reactions when the cheerleaders acknowledge them, give them high-fives, or just simply say hello.”
“They are some of the best fans and we are grateful to be able to make a connection with them and serve our community in a positive way.”
“My definition of a cheerleader is someone that brings forth excitement, spirit, and leads others in their surrounding environment in a positive way.”
“I hope that our program emulates this definition/philosophy always. I am very blessed and humbled to be the coach or our cheer program at North Central.”
“My team and I are very thankful for all of the years of continued community support in allowing their children to be a part of our mini cheer program. WE ARE NC CHEER/MINI CHEER, GO EAGLES!”
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org