Bleacher Feature

Cheerleaders Welcome Coach Williams

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Photo courtesy of Coach Williams

“As a coach I had to learn to accommodate everyone’s thoughts and feelings during COVID, while still maintaining the level of expectation of our program,” Williams said.

Hannah DeVoe, Editor in Chief

Starting a new coaching  job can be difficult, but not as difficult as starting during a pandemic. 

Kyle Williams is the new Warren Hills Regional High School Cheerleading Coach. Along with being the cheerleading coach, Williams is also serving  as a paraprofessional with the Multiple Disabilities Autsitic Program.  

Williams began cheering his freshman year at Plainfield High School in Plainfield, New Jersey. Instead of cheering in college, Williams joined the Universal Cheerleading Association or UCA, where he is now a head instructor. 

Before teaching at Warren Hills, Williams also taught at Midtown Community School in Bayonne, New Jersey and Morris-Union Joint Commission ,or MUJC, in New Providence, New Jersey.

Every year the cheerleading team travels to Orlando, Florida to compete in the National High School Cheerleading Competition. Due to the travel restrictions, Williams said the plans this year have changed. 

“Our plan is to still compete at UCA Nationals, but virtually,” said Williams. “We want to keep our families and athletes safe.”

Williams shared the reason he joined his high school cheerleading squad.

“The friendships I saw forming [was one of the reasons I started cheering],” he said. “As a high school student, having friends is super important and joining a sport would create a natural environment to do that.”

Williams is an accomplished athlete with a range of wins.

“I have won many local and regional competitions in the all-star industry,” Williams said. “I also choreographed a winning game day routine at the National High School Cheerleading Competition, or NHSCC, aka UCA Nationals.”

With his range of wins, Williams shared that his biggest accomplishment as a coach was “taking a program and building the team  to become national champions at Bayonne Elite Cheerleading.”

Due to the conditions of COVID-19, practices and competitions are not what they are normally. 

“Practices have certainly changed because of COVID, we typically practice inside all year,” Williams said. “Being outside has definitely given us a challenge, especially with the weather. We are hoping to compete virtually this season with the future of returning to live competitions and performances.”

Besides the challenges that COVID-19 has left for this sport, Williams  said there have been some other challenges that have occurred so far this season. 

“Our sport is built off of crowd leading and athleticism, so stunting is very important,” he said. “We had a little challenge getting to that point.”

Being a new coach can be hard, but Williams said joining a welcoming team has made everything so much better. 

“My first season has been great so far. The athletes and parents were very welcoming,” he said. “The administration has been nothing but supportive of me and our journey.”

Williams said he is maintaining high hopes for the 20-21 season. 

“I am hoping to build strong-minded athletes,” he said.  “I hope to put out great performances that they feel proud of.”

For the future cheerleaders of Warren Hills, Coach Williams had some advice. 

“Make sure to always be humble and strong minded,” he said,  “and have confidence in yourself.”