East Lyme alumni returns to the mats

Alumni cheerleader Hannah Taylor takes position as new cheer coach

KAYLEE MCDONALD

“Girls, I want to see you do that again,” is something guaranteed to hear if you happen to walk through the commons or by the South Gym after 4 p.m.
New cheerleading head coach Hannah Taylor is back on the mat this year. Except she is not putting on the uniform, rather she is handing them out to her two  teams.
“This is not my first year coaching. I have head coached youth cheerleaders and JV last year,” said coach Hannah.
Coach Hannah cheered for four years at ELHS before she graduated in 2016. Currently coach Hannah attends cosmetology school, works, and takes on two full high school cheer teams, bringing them to the gym twice a week, which isn’t easy to juggle for this 20-year-old. Not only is coach Hannah instructing two teams, but she is also coaching her own little sister, senior captain Sydney Taylor.
How does she do it all?
“I started to get some help from some of my friends from high school who cheered with me. Taking on two teams right now as well as taking on two youth teams earlier is manageable,” said coach Hannah.
In 2016, East Lyme cheerleaders placed 1st in Division One at the ECC championship, the biggest competition of the season for cheerleaders. Coach Hannah took that title her senior year with psychology teacher Stephanie Jenkins as coach. When Ms. Jenkins stepped down, coach Hannah stepped in. Now she coaches some of the girls who won that competition with her.
“She is my older sister and we have always cheered together. Cheer has always been in both of our lives. There is no special treatment though. She’s the coach; I am a captain,” said Sydney.
This year is going to be a building year for both JV and varsity cheer teams. But coach Hannah says it’s what she expected.
“I’m excited for this season and this team. It’s going to be an experience for sure,” said coach Hannah.

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