Eagle River football cheer squad has new coach

Colorado transplant Deborah Pierce takes over cheer duties


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The Eagle River football cheer squad includes Audrey Taus, Allison Jimenez, Ashlyn Shoaf, Ally Higdon, Anescia Lewis, Jasmine Carter, Mykenzi Llarden, Veronica Kneram, Vanessa Alexander, Abbie Rathkopf, Katie Schoff, Elle Adkins and Emily Johnson. The team’s head coach is Deborah Pierce.

DAVID MORSE

There is a difference between running a cheer squad from a school of 4,300 students to one of a projected 815 students.

But English teacher Deborah Pierce is certainly ready and excited to give it a try, starting her 21st year in education, and her first at Eagle River High.

Previously at Rampart High School in Colorado Springs, Colo., Pierce brings her teaching skills both in the classroom and field to the Eagle River Wolves.

In Colorado, she held cuts, narrowing the co-ed roster to 30 athletes. This year, as of the end of the first week of practices, on Aug. 8, the Wolves had 19 participants out – including one male.

Pierce said she is open to additional comers.

“I am very happy with what I see. There is a lot of returning talent. And they already look very cohesive as a unit,” she said.

Pierce is used to her teams performing at a high level, with her 5A squad, with 2,000 students in the building, a two-time state runner-up in Colorado nearly ten years ago.

She also had four years of coaching experience in New York, in a school with 4,300 students, prior to Colorado.

Things will have to come together quickly as the cheer squad is scheduled to perform at the Wolves first game against Soldotna High on Aug. 16, at Chugiak High.

The cheer squad currently includes Audrey Taus, Allison Jimene, Ashlyn Shoaf, Ally Higdon, Anescia Lewis, Jasmine Carter, Mykenzi Llarden, Veronica Kneram, Vanessa Alexander, Abbie Rathkopf, Katie Schoff, Elle Adkins and Emily Johnson.

Members Taus and Adkins said they are ready to get the fans pumped up for the Wolves football team.

Although with a thinner lineup than in previous years, the girls said they will still cheer on the team no matter what and will bring a lot of enthusiasm to the field.

Pierce said she is very excited about the move to Alaska and looks forward to a great season on the field, and strong year in her classroom.

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