All-American: Cheer captain leads by hard work, motivation

Payton McKeehan

Give me an E, give me an R, give me an I-C-A, Erica! From high toe-touches to sharp cheer motions, Senior Erica Moreno embodies what it means to be a cheerleader; earning the title of All-American cheerleader, and head cheer captain. Erica’s hard work has been recognized by her peers through her election as cheer captain and accomplishment of All-American cheerleader.

“I think her background, in both cheer and dance, makes her a unique leader,” cheer coach Rebecca Daley said. She can really help everyone in all of the assets of being a cheerleader at Bryan High School.”

Although some may see cheerleading as a blow off class, it takes hard work and dedication to be successful.

“Erica has improved and grown in the fact that she’s really embraced the leadership role,” Daley said. “She’s not just being a cheerleader who’s there to have fun, but is really there for what Bryan High cheering is and the work ethic behind it.”

Daley sees Erica as a role model for other members on the team and hopes they too will strive to reach the level of achievement Erica has obtained.

“I would love to see other cheerleaders follow in her footsteps,” Daley said. [I would like to see them] really step up to the challenge of being a leader and embracing the commitment necessary, for achieving recognition from her peers.”

Daley sees having an experienced leader on the team as an invaluable asset.

“Erica’s role as a cheer captain has impacted me as a first year coach in the fact that she has walked me through some things like learning some of the processes and steps because she already has that knowledge embedded in her system,” Daley said. “She’s helped me see the process of things and how things are done and from there we can, together, work to form a new foundation for what Bryan High cheerleading is.”

Other cheerleaders on the team also see the hard work and commitment Erica has to the program and her desire to have the entire team succeed.

“Erica is a good captain because she is very organized.” senior cheerleader Kendall Dewitt said. “Erica makes you feel comfortable and part of a family, not just a team by making sure she’s friends with everyone and treating everyone equally.”

Teammates respect Erica because she is able to lead them without belittling them.

“I think she’s good with authority,” Kendall said. “And she’s good with telling us what to do in a very nice and positive way.”

The bonds that Erica has created with her teammates as they work toward a common goal motivates her to succeed.

“Seeing how much fun we all can have by doing what we need to do, while taking care of business gets me fired up for cheering,” Erica said. “It feels good to be an All-American cheerleader because it feels like I’ve accomplished a lot, like my hard work has paid off.”

Erica has been cheering for 8 years both with Bryan ISD and Thunder Elite and she draws on that experience to lead her team.

“Cheering outside of school is different because it’s on a more competitive level and I use a different skills sets,” Erica said. “It’s the same because we’re all a family working toward a common goal.”

Erica takes her role as captain seriously and tries to put herself in the other girls’ shoes when making decisions that impact the team.

“I try to stay super organized and keep my team’s best interest at heart,” Erica said. “We face challenges [on the team] all the time and, it’s not really possible to make everyone happy, so I have to look at how the team can benefit as a whole instead of trying to benefit one person.”