Graduated Student Returns for Another Raider Ride

Emma Rose Olsen, Rooster Reporter

New cheer coach Lauren Hicks graduated from Reagan in 2014. During her four years at Reagan, she was on the Raiderette Dance team. She also participated in competitive cheering at Cheer Extreme Allstars and coached at Salem Gymnastics.

While Hicks was in middle school, her mom was trying to find an extracurricular activity for her sister, so they went and watched a Cheer Extreme practice. Hicks’s sister decided she did not want to do it, but Hicks loved it. That started her cheerleading career.

Hicks went to East Carolina University and majored in Elementary Education and is about to finish up her Master’s in Education as well. Hicks cheered at ECU on an all-girls team for the four years of her college career.

“There is nothing like a Saturday football game in Pirate Nation, I miss it every day,” Hicks said.

Currently, Hicks is teaching 1st grade at Brunson Elementary. This is Hicks’s first year working in the school system after graduating last May.

When former cheer coach Brittany Watson stepped down to get another degree, the cheer program was left without a coach. Principal Brad Royal interviewed candidates for weeks after Watson resigned. Finally, he decided on Hicks as the perfect coach.

“I had never thought about coaching cheerleading before, except for the cheerleading summer camps I had coached,” Hicks said. “However, when the position opened up I thought, Why not? and I am so happy I did. I am very excited for this season.”

Hicks is hoping to bring a new style of cheerleading to Reagan. The cheer program is really transforming this year into a more “crowd interactive” squad. She is going to be coaching with a more college cheer based style with very “clean, classy and hard-hitting” motions. She hopes to really prepare the girls for college cheerleading.

“Cheerleading in college was such an amazing experience for me and I want as many girls as possible to experience it,” Hicks said.

The team will also be participating in competitions in the near future. Hicks thinks that there is a lot of talent at Reagan, and she believes that the team can do really well at competitions.

She will accomplish these new changes with the help of the cheerleaders, parents and the school. Patience is key with these kinds of changes because it will be a process.