By Chris Cox
Throughout her 11-year coaching career, Glenpool cheer coach Melissa Reed has noticed one thing that all squads have in common. “The team climate has a lot to do with the leadership and the attitude of those who are influential among the team,” she says. “The senior captains have a lot to do with setting the tone for this team.”
That is true again this year and Reed says this year’s senior captains all bring something a little different to the table. “Caytlin Heilmann has been a really strong lead the past two years,” Reed says. “She is incredibly smart and knowledgeable about the sport. She’s not super vocal but she’s pretty no-nonsense. She’s also overcome several injuries, including two knee surgeries and an injured back. But she’s strong and ready to go for this senior season. Our other captains, Pyeper Adcock and Emily Howe, are also both very serious cheerleaders. They’ve improved so much over their high school careers. Pyeper has beautiful jumps and tumbling. Emily just started cheering as a sophomore and is already a great, coachable flyer and tumbler.”
That tone set by the seniors is seen throughout this roster. “Our team is pretty focused and driven,” Reed says. “We have a really small team this year. We are calling them “The Lucky 13.” Our whole state routine is centered around that focus of them being small but “lucky” when really we all know there’s no luck in cheerleading.”
Reed praised her underclassmen for embracing the larger roles they must play on a smaller squad. “Our underclassmen are super-talented girls,” Reed says. “We couldn’t compete without them. The thing about being a small squad is that everyone has a key role.”
Reed says one of the benefits of having a small squad, is the tight bond they are able to build as a group. “On thing I also really love about this “Lucky 13” team is that they encourage each other and build each other up,” Reed says. “They’re going to open gyms to tumble together outside of practice. They’re getting together outside of our competition practices to work on sideline cheers. They’re a pretty inclusive and close-knit group.”
The Glenpool cheerleading roster includes Pyeper Adcock (Sr), Caytlin Heilmann (Sr), Emily Howe (Sr), Brianna Spann (Jr), Riley Stewart (Jr), Anna Watts (Jr), Sophie Bullock (So), Pyper Freeman (So), Leah Marrs (So), Isabella Padron (So), Leah Schwing (So), Bryle Admire (Fr), and Madelynn Guilliams (Fr).