Hawk’s Eye | Flips and flutes
“Five six seven eight.”
Freshman Jacquelyn Burrer hears her coach’s voice echo through her mind as she completes her final backflip. Then, she runs to the shiny silver instrument she calls her best friend.
Burrer has a lot to do to try and balance both the band and the joy. Her sister, Laurel, influenced her to choose the flute to play in a band. Burrer had been a gymnast since age 6 and loved doing backflips and cartwheels. Due to a wrist injury, Burrer had been taken out of gymnastics, missing her chance to shine in international gymnastics competition. Despite the amount of stress and her broken wrist, nothing stopped her from trying to cheer herself up in eighth grade.
“There are certain parts in both [band and cheer] which I love,” Burrer said. “The group is a family. If you are part of a group, you have to work on it. Cheering is fun because it’s like a bond. The bond you get with your teammates—it is unbreakable. I don’t know which one I would choose over the other.
Due to overlapping group schedules and cheering with her classes, Burrer says she barely has time for herself or her family.
“[I have had to sacrifice] my free time,” Burrer said. “I can’t go out after school with friends or dinner, because I have a group until 7-7:30 p.m., and then I have to go home and do my four hours of AP human geography and try to get sleep as much as possible.
Burrer’s best friend, sophomore Abigail Rieger, says Burrer manages to light up the room with her personality, no matter how much stress and pressure she’s under on a daily basis.
“Jacquelyn is a good cross between sweet and sassy, as well as hardworking and bubbly,” Rieger said. “Even when her face has been stomped on during cheering practices and she is madly busy with academics, band and cheering, she is still able to come to practice with a smile on her face.”
Cheer coach McKenna Baxter thinks Burrer prioritizes the group and cheers alike.
“The band and the cheers are very important to Jacquelyn,” Baxter said. “She does an excellent job of maintaining communication between me and Mr. Sealy, the group manager. She lets us know in advance what her schedule will be so that we can both plan her absences accordingly.
Currently, Burrer doesn’t have a solid plan for college, but she plans to continue cheering and the band through all four years of high school.
“I don’t know if I can [pursue both]”, Burrer said. “My plan from now on is to keep trying and if I can do it, I will.”