On Fri., Sept. 20 at the Allen Layne stadium, varsity cheerleader Jessie Herrera,10, performs a routine during the halftime. “It’s crazy, at practices, in class, on my way home, I see all the routines in my head,” Herrera said.

Leaving it on the mat

February 25, 2014

Downey High School’s very own cheer squad has taken part in what they call a “Downey sweep” during this year’s competition season. With a consistent ranking of either first or second place in their competitions, it is evident that the squad has established a strategy that has guided them in what appears to be the only acceptable outcome: winning.

When last year’s competition season came to an end, it was apparent that the girls were not content with their rankings. As a whole, this year’s team agreed to give it their all and then some. By upgrading to five coaches/advisers as opposed to three, the squad is now practicing every day.  Stretching, conditioning, stunting, tumbling, and doing run-throughs of the same routine until their coach’s expectations are surpassed is easier said than done for the Lady Vikes.

“It’s intense,” junior Valerie Ortiz said. “We’re not allowed to leave practice until we hit it perfectly.”

The squad does work off of the same routine year round, but with the loss of girls due to grades or injuries, the adjustments to their final product are constant.

“Competition season is stressful,” Ortiz said, “but there’s more love among us and I think that’s why we’ve been so successful.”

Another change the squad made was the way authority is distributed. With over 60 teammates divided up into three different squads, it was beneficial to both the coaches and girls that team leaders were assigned. These leaders are responsible for finding girls to fill in a hole in the form, and to take charge while their coach is occupied.

“It gave us more freedom and independence from our main coach,” junior Perla Quesada said. “but it also made us more responsible for how wisely we use our time.”

Cheer has been around for 120 years, and just like any activity/sport/hobby, the audience’s opinions vary.

“Some of us cheerleaders will try to stunt with some of our friends and they usually comment, ‘Wow that’s harder than I thought,’ which it probably is because we try our hardest to make the skills we do look easy,” junior Shayla Deguzman said.

Stress is not foreign to DHS Cheer, but their determination to be the best they can be has worked out in their favor by not only showing for it with the countless number of medals and trophies, but by positively representing a program directly supported by Downey’s study body and staff.

About the Contributors
Photo of Vivian Buenrostro
Vivian Buenrostro, Co-Editor-in-Cheif
Senior Vivian Buenrostro is not only a writer for The Downey Legend online newspaper, but has also taken on the responsibility of Co-Editor-In-Chief. Having been a part of the newspaper staff since her sophomore year, she has experience with the different positions and has even held the positions of Arts and Entertainment Section Editor and Song of the Week Editor. “Newspaper has been one awesome ride these past three years,” Buenrostro said. “I’ve learned skills that are applicable to everything and anything.” Although Co-Editor-In-Chief is a tough and tedious job, Buenrostro is ready to take on the challenge. Throughout this year on staff she hopes to build a close bond with all of the staff members and have productive deadlines.

When she is not running the staff or writing stories, Buenrostro enjoys jogs around her neighborhood, making healthy shakes and other concoctions, or swimming in the waves at Huntington Beach. “Time doesn’t really exist when I’m in the ocean,” Buenrostro said. Buenrostro also loves live music; she has been to various concerts including Young the Giant, Arctic Monkeys, and Walk the Moon. Buenrostro plans to graduate and attend an out of state school far from California. “As much as I love Downey High,” Buenrostro said, “I can’t wait to go to college in a new environment.” While away at college she hopes to major in biology and medicine to start her path towards her career goal of being a doctor. Buenrostro aims to make her final year at Downey High School rewarding in both her academics and her position on The Downey Legend staff.
Photo of Marianne Aguilar
Marianne Aguilar, Photographer/Sports Editor
Marianne Aguilar, one of The Downey Legend’s photographers, is one of the newest members on staff. Aguilar entered her senior year with a determined mindset taking on the responsibilities of being a part of newspaper, as well as Downey High School’s yearbook staff. “Recognition is the best feeling,” Aguilar said. “I like being a part of this school.” Former Downey Legend photographer, Monique Munoz, was the person responsible for pushing Aguilar to apply, “She [Munoz] is like a sister to me, and I would always tag along and help her while she would shoot games,” Aguilar said. “The CIF Football game was insane!”

 

Before Aguilar began living the life of a busy high schooler, the 16 year old grew up witnessing her grandma, Esther, living as a professional photographer, traveling around the world and having her shots featured in underground ads. Although many of her family members constantly reminded her of the potential she had when she held a camera, Aguilar did not wish to explore that field. It was not until her junior year, years after the unfortunate passing of her grandma, that Aguilar began to get behind the camera and understood the enjoyment her loved one felt when photographing. “Once I tried it, my grandma’s daughter would tell me ‘that’s the Esther in you’ and that’s when I realized I liked taking pictures,” Aguilar said. With college right around the corner, this senior hopes to attend Texas Tech University to major in Sports Therapy. Wishing to have a future full of travel, it is clear the timidly kind yet hard worker is persistent in becoming the first in her family to go to college. Eager to begin shooting school events for this year, Aguilar said, “My goal is to have my picture framed in the C building next to my best friends,” in reference to the victory featured in The Downey Patriot Munoz shot after the Vikings won CIF. It is up to Aguilar to decide the kind of mark she will leave on Downey High School’s campus.
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