Yukon Millers Cheer - Presented by BancFirst of Yukon
By Derrick Smith
The COVID pandemic has caused a lot of disruptions of our everyday life. The effects have also been felt all the way down to high school athletics with games being postponed and even some being cancelled.
Joy Bjerk, head coach of the Yukon High School cheer team, says that her team has still been able to compete even in the midst of the craziness.
“This season has been a little weird with COVID and with our competitions being pushed back,” she said. “We competed in game day state for the first time this year and advanced to state from regionals, so we were happy with advancing our first time out. We didn't advance in the finals at state but we did earn the Distinguished Academic Award at game day state.”
Coaching in her twentieth season, Bjerk says that she is proud of her team and how they are always willing to expand their repertoire and always ready to compete.
“I think the biggest strength of our team is their willingness to try new skills,” she said. “We are preparing for competitive regionals and state. We are also planning to compete at the NCA Nationals in March and stunt this spring. It is going to be a busy winter and spring for us.”
Senior captain for the Millerettes, Courtney Harper, says that there is so much she enjoys about being in cheer. “I enjoy cheer because people are always supporting us, whether it is friends, family, or just fans trying to enjoy the game,” she said. “As a team, we always have fun at practice or anything we do. We always motivate and encourage each other, especially if someone is going through something. Our coaches are amazing and always support and believe in us.”
The pandemic has also cut down on the travel that Bjerk and her team can do. But instead of getting them down, they found the positive in it. “Due to COVID, our team isn't allowed to travel outside of Oklahoma this year, so we are trying to make the best of what we can do. So we have really focused on being a better team in the gym this season. Lots of extra workouts and conditioning has become a huge part of our program this season.”