The Olive High School Cheer squad won’t be competing this season, but that hasn’t stopped the Class B team from working hard in preparation for next season. With Olive being a Class B school, the smaller community and enrollment have made it tougher to get the program where it needs to be to compete.
“Olive is a solid, spirited, and tight community,” coach Kim Elkins said. “We have an administration and school board who truly stands behind cheerleading, the teachers, and its students.”
Since July, the cheer squad has gone from four members to seven, which had a lot to do with the excitement brought by Elkins. Although it’s her first year at Olive, Elkins has coached cheer for 25 years. Elkins coached four years at Sand Springs, 15 years at Mannford, and has spent the past six years coaching youth cheer and a competitive team in Mannford.
Elkins enters her 26th year coming off a national championship with her competitive team last May in Galveston, Texas.
“We’re practicing cheering at football and basketball games, and we start tumbling class really soon,” Elkins said. We are building skills early on with the middle school, which has around 15 girls right now. So, we’re hoping to build a solid program here.”
Leading the Olive Cheer squad is captain Jaiden Bridges, who is a junior with 10 years of experience. Bridges also competes on Elkins’s competitive team and decided to join her coach at Olive this year. Sophomore Kati Kukuk is the team’s co-captain, who has four years of experience and competes on the softball and basketball teams. Junior Konner Winford is the team mascot with four years of experience and plays on the boys’ basketball team. Joining the three upperclassmen are sophomores Xander Dixon, and Aubrey Sams, and freshmen Megan Arnett, Destiny Dana, and Alexis Pierce. Also on staff with Elkins is assistant coach Jessica Ochoa.