WJ poms is just getting started


Photo courtesy Ryan Walker

Poms perform the snake at the fall pep rally. The snake has always been a fan favorite at WJ.

Poms is known for its sassy facials, fabulous dance moves and most of all, the impressive snake. Their season is flying by as they rapidly approach their county competition on February 22. In the meantime, they practice three to four days a week for two hours each day, learning, practicing and perfecting each and every count of their tiring five minute routine under the supervision of a new coach..

“I think [the hard work is] so worth it because seeing the difference from the beginning of the season to counties is so cool because we get to see how much our hard work has paid off,” sophomore Lilly Belt said. “My goal for this year is to beat QO because that’s who we placed behind last year.”

While prepping for their important competition, they are also transitioning, with Tanya Ang taking over as head coach this year. She has a passion for dance, competed at a national level on her high school poms team and was also a performer at Disneyland. Ang is very excited for the upcoming season, although coaching a new team is not easy.

“I have big shoes to fill,” Ang said. “The last coach brought the team so far and I want to help the team continue to move forward. It sometimes feels overwhelming to learn all that I need to know, but I love it.”

While it is a new experience for Ang, it is a transition for the girls as well. Senior Julianne Okim has been on the team since her freshman year, so this is adjustment for her.

“Having a new coach this year is full of so many different experiences. Some challenges are losing some traditions of how we did things, learning a new way [to do those things] and it is our coach’s first year coaching poms,” Okim said. “Nonetheless, she does a great job of listening and being open to suggestions for improvements.”

Aside from preparing for their competitive competition, they are also considered a school spirit squad, and are responsible for performing at halftime for every home football game. Poms is known for bringing hype to the crowd when they show off their well-loved snake.

“Performing for the crowd at halftime is unforgettable,” junior Ali Becker said. “My first game freshman year I was so nervous, but as soon as I got off the field, I wanted to go back and do it again. I always get nervous about messing up but I try not to show my nerves for the freshmen on the team. I now get more excited to perform than nervous.”

Before the football game this Friday against BCC, a senior recognition ceremony will take place, the cheerleaders, poms and football players walk the field with their family members and friends. The poms team have an exciting performance prepared for senior night, and a slight surprise for the home fans. There are nine senior girls on the team this year, leaving next year’s team with a lot of extra space to fill.

“This is probably my favorite season so far because being a senior is so fun! I’m definitely going to miss the little things like getting ready for football games and performing on the football field for the last time,” senior Debra Eller said.