On March 5th, 2018, the cheerleaders at DRW College Prep alongside their coaches, Jetaun Frye and Joyce Hatch, showcased their talents as they did an amazing opening performance for Chicago’s very own professional Soccer team, the Chicago Fire. Before each home game, the Chicago Fire hosts what the team calls “Fire Fest.” Fire Fest is a family-style kick-off to each home game that allows fans to have a place to enjoy music, games, giveaways, and performances from local sports teams, just two hours before each home game begins. The cheerleaders at DRW brought the fun and the fire with them as they executed a three and a half minute performance several times throughout the kick-off. Chicago Fire fans and DRW families were able to watch the team as they delivered their best performance, stunts, and tumbles, yet!

After just recently competing in the junior varsity division of the Noble Athletics Cheerleading and Dance Competition, the team has been working hard to continuously show off their talent and skill. This year has been a truly special year for DRW’s cheerleading team. The team has been faced with various challenges around breaking down the stereotypical belief that “cheerleading is not a sport.” And while it is not offensive to say that cheerleaders can “look pretty” while they are performing, this team has found that in the past year, they have constantly been judged on their physical appearance as opposed to their level of performance.

To continue debunking this myth, the team comprised of freshman, sophomores, juniors, and two graduating seniors has pushed themselves even further to prove to others that they are more than just pretty faces, hair bows, and cheerleading uniforms. Through dedication and hard work, each member of the team has worked to build positive, long-lasting relationships with one another and truly develop their sense of teamwork and interconnectedness. The team practices for two to two and a half hours at least twice per week and sometimes on weekends. The team also holds regular “team meetings” to discuss the team’s progress and successes. Additionally, the team also held two separate fundraisers this school year, to continue raising money to increase the outcomes of the program itself. And while there have been many challenges along the way, each member of the team truly embodies all of the values of a student-athlete. Their coaches could not be more proud of all of their hard work and success this school year. The team would also like to thank the Chicago Fire for allowing them to open for their home game, especially since they have been invited back for another performance next year!

A native of Chicago, IL, Jetaun Frye is the Head Cheerleading Coach and 9th Grade English Teacher at DRW College Prep. Frye took on the position of Head Coach just two year ago, bringing with her six years of competitive cheerleading experience. Jetaun holds both a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL and Master’s Degree in Teaching from Dominican University in Oak Park-River Forest, IL. She is also working on a second Master’s Degree in Instructional Leadership with a Principal Endorsement at Roosevelt University, here in Chicago, IL. Also a native of Chicago, IL, Joyce Hatch, is the Assistant Cheerleading Coach and 9th Grade Freshman Seminar Teacher at DRW College Prep. Hatch just recently took on the position as Assistant Cheerleading Coach this school year and brings with her several years of competitive coaching experience. Hatch holds both a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL and a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from New York University in New York, New York. She has been educator for over 10 years and continues to serve and increase academic outcomes for students of color.




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