Katelyn Langman has been part of the Manawa Cowboys cheerleading program since she was in second grade.
She was a Cowboys cheerleader through eighth grade, and then became the student coach when she was a freshman in high school.
The Cowboys cheerleading program is now open to students in third grade through sixth grade. Langman said she started in second grade because she was old enough.
She became the student coach when she was in seventh grade, but the program was then opened up to seventh and eighth graders, so she got back into the program as a cheerleader in eighth grade.
“I never wanted to leave the program. I always had too much fun,” Langman said.
Even though Langman was a Cowboys cheerleader when she was in eighth grade, she had plenty of input into how the program should be run, as he mom, Laura Langman, was the head coach.
“Of course me being home with her the whole time I was just shooting her ideas and giving her stuff to do,” Katelyn Langman said. “She took, I would say, 75 percent of it into consideration.”
When Langman became the student coach when she was a freshman, her mom continued to help with the program.
Sue Sell also helps with the program. Langman said they take care of all the paperwork.
“I am the coordinator so I put together the dances, the stunts, the tumbles and all that fun stuff,” Langman said.
Langman said she enjoys teaching the cheerleaders in the program.
“I really like to educate girls how to be more confident in themselves” Langman said. “I want them to believe in themselves more. I like to teach their tumbling skills a lot because that involves them believing that they can do it.”
People would be surprised as to the amount of time everyone in the program spends practicing and performing, Langman said.
“During the summer we practice two and a half hours, five days a week. When schools starts it’s two hours, three days a week,” Langman said. “We perform during Saturday home games for the Cowboys or Friday home games for the Wolves.”
She said the team also competes in one competition each year. This year’s competition was held on Saturday, Oct. 13 in Amherst.
The Cowboys cheerleaders, which has 18 kids, competed against Berlin, Omro and Wittenberg.
The Cowboys finished first in the competition.
Langman said Bobbi Sell also helps her coach whenever she has time. This is helpful because Langman said there are challenges balancing being the student coach and her academics.
“It gets stressful being a student and then going back into teaching and being in charge. Balancing schoolwork with cheer because cheer takes a lot of time,” Langman said. “There is so much behind the scene things that people don’t see.”