Cheer Team BW.jpg

The Detroit Eagles cheer team.

DETROIT — Each Friday night, Detroit faithful will see the Eagles cheerleaders getting fans pumped up along the sidelines of football games. And this year, that cheerleading squad is headed up by a new coach: Wendy Beard.

“I’m really excited to be here, and I love what I’ve seen from them so far,” the new coach said. “I love their enthusiasm. Things were really hectic, with me joining them very late in the summer, but they’ve rolled with the punches and handled everything great.”

The team features two seniors — Katie Long and Harmony Haagensen — and Beard said their steadfast leadership has been a calming presence on the team and has made the changes much easier for all involved.

“I can’t say enough about the job that my seniors do,” she said.

The squad’s first pep rally of the year came last week, with the theme of “rope the Rebels” for the football team’s matchup against Rivercrest, and Beard said it was a resounding success, as students from the high school and junior high school got to take part in ranching-themed activities, including a chance to try to lasso their principals. This week, the theme is “red, white and blue” in memory of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Looking to the future, Beard said she thinks the pep rallies will continue to get bigger and better.

“I can’t wait to see what crazy things they come up with for homecoming,” she said. “I know they’ve already got some really fun ideas.”

The team won’t be taking part in UIL cheer competition this year, but will be attending a competition hosted by the National Cheerleading Association.

“I got here too late to do the work to compete in UIL, but we definitely hope to take part in that next year,” Beard explained.

“These girls are wonderful. They bring great energy on the sidelines, but the important thing is that they’re also great kids. They’re smart, kind and a joy to be around.”

Tommy Culkin is sports editor for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at

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