The student news site of Baldwin High School, est. 1999

The Bulldog Bulletin

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The student news site of Baldwin High School, est. 1999

The Bulldog Bulletin

The student news site of Baldwin High School, est. 1999

The Bulldog Bulletin


BHS cheerleaders shine bright at home Cheer & Dance festival
BHS Cheerleaders cheer on our Varsity Basketball teams and are lead by captains Makayla Brown, Malin Harris and Mikayla Michael.

This year we celebrated the 21st annual Alexandra M. Bergan Cheer and Dance Festival. Baldwin hosts the festival every year and this year 21 different teams competed at the competition. All of the team’s performances were very impressive, but Baldwin’s was a stand-out.

“We got a 1 rating on our team performance, as well as receiving the Judge’s Award of Excellence,” captain Malin Harris said.

The judges weren’t the only people who were impressed with Baldwin. Coaches Patty Lenning and Jilly Michael were very happy with the performance.

“The team’s performance was the best full-out performance they had done,”  Lenning said. “They scored a 1 and hit all stunts and pyramids. We were proud that they hit more difficult stunts/pyramids than they have all year. We have had a lot of injuries and sickness and rarely had all team members since Christmas. We enjoyed seeing them work together, be determined, and see those aspects pay off for the athletes. Ending the season with a challenging routine is very rewarding”

At the competition, cheerleaders could participate in individual and small group competitions as well.

“We had team members compete in individual and small group competitions, and they were all extremely successful,” Michael said. 

The team members that competed in individual and small group categories included Makayla Brown, Mikayla Michael, Malin Harris, Ebi Gerrard, Canyon Burtis, Addison Allen, Laila Mohsen, Sydney Kessinger, Paighton Westgate, and Anna Rolland.

The BHS cheer team worked very hard to prepare for the competition and their hard work paid off.

“It took a long time of hard work and preparation for this competition,” Harris said. “It comes with so much stress and injuries as comp comes closer, but in the end, it is the best feeling getting to show off our hard work in our routine.” 

The team performed a dance that included many difficult stunts and pyramids.

“My favorite part of this competition is how different it is from state cheer,” Harris said. “It has more dances and incorporates a lot more stunts and pyramids! I love being able to show my sassy side in these routines. I remember competing in the competition in seventh grade and all the years leading up to my junior year. This comp comes with so many memories.” 

Lenning has been coaching the BHS cheer team for about 37 years.

“One thing that has been extremely important to me has been my relationships with all of my alumni and present cheerleaders and families,”  Lenning said.  “In fact, Kelli Haefner was quite the star cheerleader…she could do tumbling from one end of the stadium to the other.”

Baldwin has hosted the Cheer and Dance Competition for many years and has lots of fun with it.

“It is fun to end the year with so many teams and to recognize their hard work,” Lenning said. “I enjoy meeting other coaches and seeing teams who have been to almost all of our 21 events.”

Hosting large events like this comes with many complications as well.

“The organization aspect and setting up the order of events takes a great deal of time,” Lenning said. “Things are always changing with scratches or substitutions.” 

The Cheer and Dance Festival is very important to current and past BHS cheerleaders because it is in remembrance of a former cheerleader, Alexandra M. Bergan. 

Patty Lenning described Alex as “full of life and so much fun!  She was very energetic and also had a huge smile on her face all of the time and loved pranking people and staff. She was a quick learner and an outstanding performer.” 

Alex is Avery Bergan’s older sister and often brought her two younger sisters to practices with her. Alex adored her younger sisters.

Throughout the season, the cheer team grew very close.

“As always, this team worked hard and competed even harder this past weekend,” Michael said. “Our season is sadly coming to an end, but the past 10 months have been nothing short of amazing. Getting to know each cheerleader as an individual is one of my favorite things about coaching. Knowing they each have their own unique personality, but the ability to work together is always so magical to see. Saying I am proud of them seems like an understatement of how I truly feel about this team. They are just so amazing, and I am so glad to be a part of each of their lives.”

The Cheer and Dance Festival is a very fun and positive environment. It is definitely something worth attending in the future.