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Junior's motivation propels outgoing attitude, dedication

Without dedication and hard work junior Rayna Endicott would not have been able to make her way up to varsity cheer Co-Captain. Endicott has participated in cheer since kindergarten by taking part in FC?s annual Cheer Clinic. Now Endicott is leading the cheer clinic with the skills that she has learned throughout her many years of experience.

Through Endicotts organizational skills learned through cheer she is able to juggle multiple actives. As well as being a cheerleader she is also a photographer for The Feather and a member of student leadership. Cheer has taught Endicott commitment and diligence in everything she does.

Starting out in cheer clinic Endicott made her way up to varsity cheer Captain her sophomore year and Co-Captain her junior year. As captain, Endicott is responsible for keeping the team on task. She devotes her time to to helping the fellow girls on the team.

“As captain I help lead the team by keeping them organized and focused as well as mentoring the younger teammates,” Endicott said. “I am also responsible for calling the cheers as well as communicating with the girls both at the games and behind the scenes.”

Endicott started cheering with the aspiration of one day becoming a captain. As a little girl, she recalls seeing the varsity captains at the cheer clinics and admiring their hard work and dedication to the sport.

“At cheer clinics when I was little I always admired the captains and hoped that one day I would be granted the honor to be a captain,” Endicott said. “I hoped I would be able to do it as well as the girls before me have.”

Varsity cheer coach Courtney Raymundo has seen Endicott step into her own stride, since she has been here. Raymundo praises Endicott on her leadership skills as well as the encouragement she shows to the team.

“Rayna is a great supporter and encourager to her teammates,” Raymundo said. “She always see’s the improvement in everyone, and is quick to point out her teamamtes accomplishments and strengths. I know I can always look to Rayna to take charge in any situation.”

In the past four years Endicott has cheered for four different coaches. The changing of coaching styles has been difficult for Endicott but has also helped her grow in experience.

“It is very hard to have to constantly adjust to a new style of coaching as well as squad structure,” Endicott said. “It is hard for me to deal with change especially with how much change there has been in short amounts of time but it has definitely been a growing experience. It is hard to continue each year when you feel like you have to start over year after year but in the long run it has grown us closer as a squad and especially closer to the girls who have been along the whole journey together.

Jennifer has seen Rayna persevere in her cheer journey. She is very proud of her daughters accomplishments, as well as her growth as a person to be a better leader and positive influence with others.

“It has been such a fun journey to see Rayna grow up and accomplish many of her goals as a cheerleader,” Jennifer said. “Rayna has been positively influenced by many of the leaders from previous squads and it is wonderful to see her reaching out to younger girls the same way she was mentored by others. Rayna takes a great deal of pride in representing Fresno Christian in a way that keeps the tradition of excellence in the squads, from previous years.”

Endicott is very dedicated to cheer but is unsure of her decision to continue cheering in college. If Endicott comes to the resolution of proceeding with cheer after high school she is not basing her college choice on that decision. She will continue cheer as more of a hobby; continuing something that she loves.

“If I do cheer in college it would be more of something I do for fun,” Endicott said. “I love cheering and don’t want to have to give it up but when looking at colleges it will not be my main priority. I think it would be a great experience and opportunity but if I don’t I know that there is another plan for my life.”

Kim Ward, ’15, sees Endicott as a great mentor to be a better cheerleader. Ward believes Endicott has shown great commitment to the sport inspiring all the girls to give it their all. She is glad to see Endicott as one of her captains, knowing she is leading the squad in the right direction.

“Rayna is a great leader and friend,” Ward said. “She is always there to motivate the squad when we’re down. Rayna has been a great leader to the team and it’s been really great to see her step out of her shell and gain more confidence.”

As one of Endicott’s most memorable cheer moments, camp has been a learning experience for her as well as a time of bonding for the team. Being one of the most tiring weeks for Endicott she has learned to cope with the stress of being a cheerleader through her times spent at camp.

“Cheer camp is such a time of bonding and growing together as a team,” Endicott said. “Camp is hard and extremely exhausting, but completely worth it. It is one of the most tiring and stressful weeks of the year but the pay off is so great. It is so much fun being able to improve our skills and compete together at the end of the week. So much time and energy is put into the week as well as preparing for it but I would never trade the experiences.”

Hannah Avila, ’14, has been cheering with Endicott since kindergarten. Avila has seen Endicott’s increase in skills as well as confidence in herself. She is thankful for Endicotts encouragement and motivation she has shown all throughout their years together.

“I’ve been cheering with Rayna since the beginning and it’s been great to see her grow as a cheerleader and a person,” Avila said. “She is a great inspiration to me to always do my best and never give up. She’s a great leader and I’m so proud to call her my Captain. She’s always been encouraging to everyone on the squad and I can’t wait to finish out my junior and senior years of cheer with her.”

Due to some complications the cheer team will not be competing this year as a team or as individual stunt groups. Endicott was disappointed to hear of the news in view of the fact that her stunt group, including Callista Fries, ’15, Hannah Avila, ’13, and Emily Shakeshaft, ’13, put hard work and dedication into practicing their routines.

“I’m very disappointed that we won’t be competing this year,” Endicott said. “I love competition and especially stunting. It was a big bummer to hear we were no longer going to compete when I was really looking forward to it especially after putting in the work that we did.

Raymundo is appreciative of the qualities Endicott brings to the squad. She sees Endicotts dedication to the sport as a great motivator for the other girls to do their best at all times.

“Rayna has been a big asset to our team,” Raymundo said. “Not only has she been a big help to the cheerleaders themselves but also to me as a coach. Coming into a new school and a new team, I wasn’t sure how certain things were done but along with our athletic department, Rayna was always able to help me whenever I needed it. She has also been a big help to the new girls on the team as well. She was able to help teach them all the new cheers and fight song.”

Endicott has had the opportunity to participate in many different competitions and events throughout her cheer career. All these experiences have added to her favorite memories, also helping her grow as a cheerleader.

“My favorite thing about cheer is all the memories that I get to make,” Endicott said. “From competing at nationals, cheering for the valley championships twice for basketball, preforming at the 49er game, cheer camps over the summer and all the practices in between my cheer experience is something that I will never be able to forget. It is so much fun being right in the middle of all the school spirit especially when you get to lead it.”

Cheer has not only helped Endicott in becoming a better leader but has also helped her step out of her comfort zone. Endicott has learned to be more outgoing, as cheer has put her in the center of attention a lot of the time.

“Cheer has definitely helped me step outside of my comfort zone at times,” Endicott said. “It has taught me to push myself to be better. It has shown me what it means to be a leader and what it means to represent the school as well as setting an example for all the girls much younger than me.”

Jennifer Endicott, mother of Rayna, has seen the advantages Rayna has gained through participating in cheer. Jennifer believes cheer has given Rayna great skills on how to face obstacles throughout life.

“Cheer has helped Rayna learn to be more confident in who she is,” Jennifer said. “It has taught her to persevere when facing obstacles in life. Rayna has learned what it means to be a leader and put the needs of the team before her own personal desires. She has learned to handle herself in a composed manner even when under a great deal of stress. She has become an organized and disciplined person who enjoys promoting school spirit and supporting others.”

For more sports, read the Feb. 12 article, Girls’ soccer sport shorts: Riverdale

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