By: Mary Kerr/Co-Social Media Director
Every team and group needs a good leader, and for the Blue Ridge Lady Raiders, the cheerleading team has an amazing captain. Senior, Krystal Hepler has been a cheerleader for three years, and has filled the role of the captain for her Lady Raiders for the 2018-2019 school year. Hepler has a long past of cheering, she cheered for Triplets’ Football for four years, which is the maximum amount she could. She says, “growing up as a cheerleader taught me to always have a voice, to take constructive criticism, and be a team player.”
Krystal Hepler, cheering in Triplets and High School. All photos provided by Krystal.
Being the captain of a cheerleading team comes with a lot of responsibility. Hepler’s duties include, making sure everyone is dressed up and dressed properly for games, and making sure that everyone always pays attention. She is required to call/begin cheers and work with other teams on where to sit and how to run cheers as the opposing team. When asked if handling this kind of responsibility get stressful, Krystal said “it does get stressful because sometimes the girls think that Clarissa (the co-captain) and I are trying to be mean, when really we just want everyone to look good.” She also says “having Gina Russo as a coach in the past has definitely taught me how a cheer team should be ran.”
Since cheering for plenty of years, Krystal has worked with many different people and has cheered with practically a new team every year, due to graduating seniors and incoming freshmen. Krystal’s favorite thing about cheer is “being able to show how strong we are as a team and that cheer is a sport, and to support the boys.” Hepler says that throughout the years, Angela Louvolo, her former Triplets coach, has inspired her and has been a great influence on her and her cheer.
Hepler plans to attend Mansfield University for Social Work in the fall of 2019. She does plan to cheer in college. Hepler has set a high standard of how a cheer team should look and be ran, and has shaped these Lady Raiders in a positive and remarkable way.