Athlete to Watch: Rocking with the Red!

Gabrielle Cassini, Staff Writer

Junior cheerleader Kerrie Bynum values the sport of cheer and the intensity and passion that comes with it. Bynum undertakes the role of a base position; she controls the stunts and is directly under the flyers. Last year, Dulaney High School won 3rd place in winter counties; the cheerleaders are determined to continue their success this year.  

Just a flip, toss and cradle, and these girls are hard at practice six days a week, polishing up their routines for winter gamedays. 

“Winters are definitely our hardest season. We are trying to push to the next level, doing harder stunts, skills and detail oriented things,” said Bynum.

Additionally coach Kim Bettencourt has been coaching at Dulaney for 20 years, and emphasizes how much school spirit means to the team. 

“We take pride in game day as far as what we can do to boost school spirit…for what we consider not only a team but a family,” said Bettencourt. 

Without a lively crowd, things become more difficult for the girls. As the crowd’s spirit decreases it can directly play a role in the energy sway during the game and sidelines. 

“We don’t face the game and can’t see what’s going on. It impacts us because when we’re losing that’s showing in the crowd and then it’s a lot harder to try to get the spirit up and keep the energy moving,” said Bynum. 

With Bynum coming in with a “leg up” because of her dance background she is an asset to the newer members on the team.

“I’m pretty confident in my ability to dance. I danced for four years prior to this so that is something I am best at,” said Bynum. 

Most of the stunts and dances are based off of physical endurance, but the mindset is crucial.

Bynum mentioned, “A positive attitude and willingness to work hard when things get frustrating is important. You may take some beatings, but it’s worth it.”  

When the game eventually slows down, the spotlight is on the cheerleaders, and the pressure turns on. Pressure comes with trust, and luckily the team knows exactly how to handle it. 

Bynum said, “Our coach always says that cheer is like a family because you can’t pick your family. We spend so much time together and a lot of that does go to bonding because cheers really is a team sport. There’s a lot of trust in it like when trusting people to catch you.”

Additionally, Bynum is constantly taking on a leadership role with her uplifting presence. The role model attitude she embodies makes her an asset to the team.

“Kerri is very encouraging, very patient, and outgoing when we are working on stunts or new material, she is very helpful and loves to teach other people,” said Bettencourt. In fact, Bettencourt mentioned she notices the girls supporting each other in almost every aspect of life and school. 

Despite the longing practices, competitions and games Bynum mentioned her valuable friendships made during cheer being the “best friendships she has made.”

With an optimistic view for this upcoming winter season Bynum is hoping to keep moving forward making it to winter regionals.