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Stanford Cheer on the Rise

From Issue: Volume XVI - Number 7

Leticia Moore Williams

The world of cheerleading is totally different today compared to the 80s when girls held pom-poms and yelled “yeah team!” for the high school football team.

Cheerleading today appeals to fans from all different ages, genders, social classes and ethnic backgrounds. Anyone with a competitive spirit would enjoy watching a cheer routine especially during competition season. The crowds are huge at cheer competitions and in some cases even bigger than your local kid’s football and soccer games. It can get so crowded at some of these competitions that there is standing room only.

A cheer squad to take notice of is the Stanford Middle School “Hawks” cheerleaders. These girls have worked hard this cheer season and thanks to their coach it has paid off. Brie Anne Boyd, cheer coach at Stanford Middle School, states that her girls will have the ability to tryout for high school knowing how to work the crowd and how to put on a performance. She’s confident any high school would select any one of them without hesitation.

Boyd has been coaching the Stanford cheerleading squad for four years now and she is still passionate about it. Having been a former Millikan cheerleader herself she knows what it takes to be successful in cheer.

Boyd explained, “While cheering in middle school you will be groomed on basic techniques like arm angles, different jumps and dance coordination — all important factors needed to know when trying out for high school cheer.”

She definitely keeps the girls busy during the school year when not participating in competitions. The girls perform at basketball, football and volleyball games throughout the school year and last year took part in the Belmont Shore Christmas Parade.

The girls have had their most successful season to date, adding five wins and five trophies to Stanford’s trophy case.

The Stanford competition squad worked hard all year to get to Nationals and it has finally paid off. This year, as well as last year, USA Nationals were held at the Hyperion Theatre at Disney’s California Adventure Theme Park in Anaheim, Calif.

Despite a few bumps in the road, they still managed to pull out a sixth place standing at Nationals, which was huge for the girls, since last year they did not place at all and they were determined to come back and show their cheer worthiness.

For the record this school year they won first at U.S. Spiritleaders Winter Classic, first at Millikan Greater Long Beach Competition, second at USA Winter Classic, first with JAMZ XTREME Championships and 6th at the USA Nationals on Mar. 3.

According to Boyd, the Stanford P.E. Department has been gracious by allowing gym time and purchasing cheer mats to accommodate all the girls for practicing stunts.

Jill Wyche, another coach at Stanford, has donated her time by helping with judging at tryouts, going to competitions and even brainstorming on occasion with Boyd about different cheer ideas. She also acknowledges parental support and how they have been very understanding throughout this season.

Only top choreographers were sought out and help from Millikan cheerleaders, some of whom were cheerleaders last year at Stanford, have really aided in making this squad such a success!
Sometimes money comes out of Boyd’s own pockets to provide small things for the girls such as parking fees when riding to and from competitions as she plays taxi when parents cannot attend, as well as choreography DVD’s, competition pictures and gifts for the girls.

Boyd says she is definitely rewarded in the end. She mentioned how the parents gave her a huge gift certificate for a day spa for the holidays. Although funding may be cut next year everyone is still confident of a great team next year.

When asked what the best part of cheer is Boyd responded, “Going to competitions and seeing the payoff of all of the hours and hard work. The last two weeks before Nationals was one of the best times this year. We lost a few girls and had to come together as a team to change and perfect our routine. The girls were amazing: I have never seen such determination. Our routine didn’t even look like the same routine. They wanted to succeed.”

If you know someone that will be attending Stanford next year and wants to be on the squad or wants to show support by sponsoring them next year please e-mail Boyd at For more cheer information and photos log onto Stanford’s website at and click on cheer squad. You will also find cheer tryout information and parent meetings.

Donations are always welcome. (Please mention it’s for cheer on the check.) Checks are payable to Stanford Middle School and can be mailed to 5871 E. Los Arcos Way, Long Beach, 90815, Attn: Mrs. Brie Anne Boyd.