Coach Alex brings renewed energy to cheer program


Arushi Sharma

BONDING WITH BUSTER: Cheer coach Alyssa Alex gives a warm hug to Buster the Bulldog during the homecoming football game against Del Valle. This was Alex’s first homecoming football game as the cheer coach.

Grace Harris, Commentary Editor

Earlier this year, the cheer teams bid farewell to Catherine McCallum, their coach of two years. McCallum departed the program after being offered an opportunity to coach at Del Valle High School. The teams welcomed their new head coach, Alyssa Alex, over the summer.

Alex has been a competitive cheerleader and dancer most of her life. She began her journey at age six and continued throughout high school as well as college. After graduating from Baylor University, Alex began her career as a coach.

“I started my head coaching career at Hays High School,” Alex said. “I coached there for three years before being asked to go found the cheer program at the new school in the district, Johnson High School.”

After moving to central Texas, Alex was drawn to Bowie’s cheer program by Courtney David, who’s Alex’s roommate and a former Bowie cheerleader herself.

“After being here for a couple years, I then started to realize that it was not only the cheer squad, but the entire school, staff, and community that I was drawn to,” Alex said.

McCallum, the previous coach, had dance-based experience as opposed to cheer. Although Alex is new to the school, her background in cheerleading has aided her through her transition.

“Coach McCallum seemed a little unsure at times about what she was doing,” JV co-captain junior Brooke Dallmann said. “Coach Alex on the other hand is very comfortable with what she is teaching. It’s very nice to have a new leader who can drive us to success.”

After entering the program late last spring, Alex was excited to jump into summer practices with the teams.

“The transition was honestly a lot of fun because the girls are so talented,” Alex said. “We were able to jump right into a groove of improving and learning new skills.”

Coaches differ in their approaches and coaching styles, often making a transition difficult for the athletes. However, Alex’s presence and leadership in the program has so far proved comfortable and beneficial for the teams.

“I really like coach Alex,” Dallmann said. “She is very confident in everything she does and is very organized. Her transition over the summer felt really seamless and seemed easy on her.”

Currently, cheer is in the midst of football season. Running pep rally routines, game cheers, and painting spirit banners around the school makes a busy start of the year for the squad.

“I think the challenge so far has been figuring out the cheer program traditions and expectations of what is normally done, while also making changes to make the program my own,” Alex said.

Though the cheer team has many long appreciated traditions, the cheerleaders welcome Alex’s new ideas and improvements.

“Football season is already looking a lot more fun than it was in previous years with our new coaches,” Dallmann said. “I love how coach Alex likes to create new traditions this year for the team.”

Not all of the cheerleaders got to experience cheer under coach McCallum’s instruction. However, new member Sydney Parsons has also had a positive experience so far with Alex.

“This is my first year cheering at Bowie, but the experience with the new coaches is so great,” Parsons said. “Coach Alex brings so much joy and she really shows a lot of commitment to the team.”

Alex’s presence has had a positive impact on the teams during games and practices.

“Change can be very stressful and very hard, but having a new coach was definitely a very good change, and definitely changed Bowie cheer for the better,” Dallmann said.

Further pursuing her passion for cheerleading, Alex has adjusted smoothly into the school community. Alex is proud of the girls and the success of the program so far this year.

“They have all already had such an impact on my life so I hope I am having a positive impact in theirs as well,” Alex said.