by Mason Raven
Through the pom-poms and the cheers, the cheerleaders are basically the only girls in our school.
Cheerleaders are the heart and soul of the spirit and passion of both our athletic programs and other endeavors.
Needless to say, they are be led by a tremendous coach and leader.
That is where Ashley Stegall comes into play.
Stegall was hired after the cheerleading season ended last year and the head coach stepped down.
She brings an ample amount of experience both in cheerleading and gymnastics to the cheerleading program, which obviously has greatly benefited from it.
Along with that, she brings uniformity, charisma and enthusiasm to the squad that is already pretty good as it is.
“There is a lot of team bonding and everyone is very friendly to one another,” varsity cheerleader Rachel Nolan said. “Both teams are also very devoted to cheerleading and are enthusiastic in giving school spirit to St. Thomas.”
In 2006 as a member of the Texas State cheerleading team, Stegall’s squad won the national championship. The very next year, she was elected as the captain of the cheerleading team at Texas State University which only solidified her resume.
Along with her own personal accomplishments, she is also a current choreographer and judge for the Universal Cheerleaders Association, or UCA.
She enjoys leading both the junior varsity and varsity cheerleading teams.
“Coach Ashley does a great job of distributing the attention equally,” junior varsity cheerleader Leighann Westfall said. “We usually all practice as one big team, and if we do break up in to our separate squads at practice, coach does a great job working with both.”
The cheerleading team is not all about the pom-poms or cheers; they have a bigger voice than that: passion, their true heart that unifies each other into one squad to be reckoned with, which leads them to be very successful.
It is only appropriate to say that Stegall has had a lot to do with that.
“Coach brings us all together by her passion for the sports,” Westfall said. “We are like one big family.”