News & Events
Edina High School’s Spirit Squad fires up students, fans for homecoming
Participants, fellow students enthusiastic about collaborative focus on school spirit
Click here to watch the Spirit Squad in action.
Pom-poms, high-kicks and breakdance are among the moves of the high-paced, exciting performances of Edina High School’s (EHS) new Spirit Squad. From the riveting notes of the trumpet players in the Pep Band to the amusing energy of the Hornet Mascot, the Spirit Squad offers something for everyone.
“I love this new format, and I’m sad that it is my senior year and I only get to be a part of it for one year,” said Brooke Scheerer, EHS senior and co-captain of the Hornette dance team. “It’s been fun getting to know members of the other dance teams [Hip Hop and Competitive Cheer]. We used to all be in our separate corners, but now we are all coming together as one and it’s great.”
The new Spirit Squad, comprised of the Pep Band, Competitive (Comp) Cheer, Hornette Dance Team, Hip Hop Dance Team and Hornet Mascots, were brought together last spring to strengthen existing school spirit activities into a collaborative, unified group. The new squad allows for an increase in the number of students able to participate in spirit activities and better represents the diversity of the student population. All teams share common expectations and goals of engaging with students and fans and encouraging positive school spirit.
“The Spirit Squad has definitely amplified our school spirit throughout the school,” said Anna St. Dennis, EHS junior and member of the Comp Cheer team. “It’s been fun practicing together for the Homecoming pep fest and learning all the different kinds of dance. So often we just see snippets of the different teams, but this allows us to all dance together. And it’s great when we see each other in class, because now we know each other better.”
The comprehensive Spirit Squad model is based upon successful university-level programs, including the one at the University of Minnesota.
“At the University, they use this same notion of a Spirit Squad as a way to align and bring together, under one umbrella, these various performing groups, whether they be musical, or dance, or cheer,” said Jenn Carter, EHS Spirit Squad Coordinator and Spanish teacher. “It has been exciting to see all the groups at Edina come together and embrace this new model. I think the kids, both those participating in the spirit groups and the students in the stands, are enjoying this new more inclusive approach to school spirit.”
“It’s been great getting to perform in front of my peers and show off our hard work,” said Jared Bryant, EHS junior and member of the Hip Hop Team. “I’ve really enjoyed being on the sidelines during the games, especially when we are able to freestyle with the Hornettes and Comp Cheer. It’s very energizing for us and the fans.”
The unscripted combined dancing on the sidelines has been just one of the benefits many members of the Spirit Squad are experiencing.
“Before, the Hornettes only performed at halftime. But now we are more involved in the whole game experience and get to learn new styles of dance. It’s brought our dance performance to a higher level,” Scheerer said. “And our after school practices are actually more productive now because we have more to prepare for and we have a better focus. Personally, I think it has better prepared me for performing at the college level or, hopefully, with the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders. It’s a change from what we did before, but it has been totally worth it. I love it.”
School officials are also pleased with how the Spirit Squad concept has taken off this year.
“The evolution of our Spirit Squad is symbolic of so many things that we have worked so hard to attain at Edina High School,” said Bruce Locklear, EHS principal. “We have been working hard to ensure that we are providing opportunities for all of our students, not just the ones who have had access through traditional channels. To see our students working together, growing together, and bringing our whole school together in the name of school spirit has been exhilarating.”
The Spirit Squad fuses EHS’s iconic spirit traditions together with contemporary programs to create a rousing, innovative group that gets even the fans on the other side of the bleachers ready to shout, “Go Hornets.”
Locklear said he sees the students at EHS as pioneers in the development of a new “spirit legacy” that will continue to encourage broad participation of all its students.
“The students have really embraced this new approach while at the same time keeping the tradition of Hornet Pride alive,” said Locklear.
Today’s Homecoming pep fest highlighted each of the individual performance groups’ talents, including those of the pep band, and concluded with a combined dance featuring all of the student performers. The various groups will be participating in this afternoon’s parade, and will be showcased in a pregame show just prior to kickoff, on the sidelines during the game, and during quarter breaks.
Good luck to the Spirit Squad and the EHS Football Team as they take on the Minnetonka Skippers tonight at 7:00 p.m. Go Hornets!