By Derrick Smith
 
The COVID situation across the country has caused a lot of sports teams to make changes and do things differently than they had in the past. High school athletics are not immune to this, but Edmond Santa Fe’s head cheer coach, Jennifer Ortiz says that her squad has shown how tough they are in the middle of all this craziness. 
 
“Our team’s biggest strength is their perseverance and they have shown that recently,” she said. “They have overcome so many obstacles this past year. From changing coaches, late tryouts, covid restrictions, to being quarantined three times already this school year.  Each time coming out stronger and more determined.”
 
Ortiz took over as the head coach in January and says that she inherited a great group that works so well together. “This is a very close-knit group of girls,” she said. “They have worked very hard this year, despite all of the obstacles. They are constantly building each other up and encouraging each other to be better and better with each practice. They consistently demonstrate the characteristics that our school looks for in its leaders.”
 
Team captain, Makyah Tice, says she enjoys being a part of a great team and helping to make a positive impact on the student body and community. “The thing I enjoy about my team is that we are optimistic no matter what is going on,” she said. “Due to Covid-19, we are unsure if our season is going to get cut short. So we always take advantage of the time we have and make every moment like it is our last. Personally, I like cheering because I get the opportunity to make other students feel welcome and included at school.”

During a normal season, Ortiz says that her team would do some fun activities or outings. But this season has thrown a curveball so they have to make due with what they have. “We have not been able to do many fun activities because of COVID,” she said. “Although, the girls love the bus rides to football games, where there is a lot of singing and laughter.”

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