(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)
TAKING THE REINS: Longtime assistant coach Amanda Katzer taking over Chewelah Cheer program for 2020-21…
After many years of serving as the Chewelah Cheer coach, Lindsay Pettigrew will be stepping down, but the program shouldn’t miss a beat. Longtime assistant coach Amanda Katzer will be taking over in 2020-21.
“When Lindsey told me that she was resigning from the position I was trying to help her find a replacement but whoever we thought about or talked to couldn’t do it,” Katzer said. “Then one night we talked for a long time and when we hung up, I just thought ‘I have to apply, I can do a lot with this program and I don’t want to see Lindsey’s hard work go a different direction.’”
The Chewelah Cheer program has gotten gradually more involved in competitive cheer, and the student section at Cougar games has continued to grow in size and energy. Katzer said she felt like the woman for the job. While she had taken a step back from being assistant coach in 2019-20, she still would help in practices.
“I know the girls and they respect me, and I respect them,” Katzer said. “I’m super excited! I can’t wait to get the season rolling cause cheer is all year and I can’t wait to see where they go. Cheer is important for getting the crowd excited and pumped up, which in return pumps up the players.”
Katzer grew up in Chewelah and got her first taste for cheer because all three of her older brothers played football and she was always down with the cheerleaders.
“Angela Lindquist used to have to take the cougar head off on the mascot to show me it was her because it scared me,” Katzer said.
Katzer did dance in middle school and she made the varsity cheer squad her freshman year in Moses Lake after moving there.
“We competed at the West Coast Championships down at Disneyland my junior and senior year,” Katzer said. “We also went to state my sophomore and senior year. These were amazing good times in my life and I had an amazing coach whom I am still friends with today. I only strive to be like her. I hope that I can be the best I can for these girls like my coach was.”
For those who have attended Chewelah volleyball games, the effect of a standout cheer squad is real as the Chewelah student section is perhaps the rowdiest volleyball crew in the state).
“Sometimes I think some of the girls get more into the game than I do, and I love football,” Katzer said. “It’s also important because not everyone is hand-eye coordinated, just like not everyone has rhythm. For those of us that have rhythm and don’t fit into the “sports” category this gives them a place. Plus we use every girl we have. It also motivates to keep grades up and do better than you expecpt of yourself. You learn to push yourself to new limits that you never knew you could reach.”
Katzer said she is planning on having the girls work on more competitions, and if the team is small she still plans on having them do exhibitions.
There will be requirements during the pandemic for cheerleaders as in Phase 3 they would have to cheer six feet apart with masks, but would also be able to stunt if the county moved into Phase 4. Lots of cleaning of shoes would be required after stunts.
“This will be a little bit of a damper, but not difficult,” Katzer said.
So Chewelah spirit will again be high heading into the school year thanks to community members like Katzer stepping up and making a difference.