11 Feb WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER! BY LUCY TOWLE
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
There is something to be said about the spirit you feel inside at each and every school event held in the Prosper schools, but Prosper High School fairs above them all. The power of the student body supported by the administration does not come accidently. We see the face of our high school principal, Mr. Greg Wright leading the charge, but there are several people behind the curtain who support him to make it all possible. There is one special person who works feverishly and humbly by his side to help create the atmosphere you feel and her name is Julie Brantley, PHS cheerleading coach.
Julie Brantley came to Prosper four years ago from a 20+ year career in Plainview, TX. Her husband moved to the Metroplex due to a job transfer and she soon followed. Upon visiting the district, Julie felt the spirit of the town and was amazed with the PISD facilities, but what most drew Coach Brantley to accept the head cheerleading coach position was the small town feel.
“Although cheerleading is not recognized by the UIL as a sanctioned sport, the athleticism behind what the cheerleaders do is second to none,” says Brantley. “Prosper cheerleaders and mascot put in hours of hard work and challenge themselves to do their best and give all they have to every event our school sponsors.” The cheerleaders took 2nd place in the first annual UIL state cheerleading competition.
This dedication was a contributing factor to Coach Brantley receiving the 2015 5A-6A Texas Cheer Coach of the Year. This was the first year the Spirit Division was added to the Texas Girls Coaches Association (TGCA). Coach Brantley was very honored to receive the award and said she knows it is because of her squads, parents and Prosper High School’s support. “This was a great honor and I will be forever grateful!” she said.
Brantley and the cheerleaders brainstorm every year about how they can make “special memories” for every student at Prosper High. Every pep rally is special, from Homecoming to Pink Out to United We Stand… but this year, a major focus was on the Black Out Pep Rally.
MEMORIES. THAT IS WHAT WE WANT FOR STUDENTS.
The cheer squads are instrumental in planning the high school pep rallies. They come up with the themes and present them to Mr. Wright. Once approved, every senior takes a pep rally and plans it from start to finish. They meet with Mr. Wright, contact all participants, develop their performances (dances, cheers and stunts) and leads practice to prepare for the weekly pep rally. This is a huge undertaking for the cheerleaders, especially since the material is new every week.
Combined with the pep rallies the cheerleaders also support as many community events as they possibly can, such as the opening of Light Farms, Special Olympics, American Cancer Society, state sendoff. Plus, the cheer organization is in charge of the homecoming parade. It is the teamwork and vision of these cheerleaders – along with Mr. Wright – leading the way to create valuable memories our district students will cherish for years to come.
Get ready this 2016, if you haven’t seen or heard about it already. Look for even more memories. Do you know what is behind the curtain? Take a trip to the next basketball game and see what these amazing students are up to now.
Coach Brantley added, “I am so fortunate to have landed in Prosper, Texas, surrounded by people who mold me into being a better person while working in a position that allows me to make special memories for amazing people!”