From captain to coach

Ashley Sattler, A&E Writer

Kesserling (center) poses with cheerleaders at UCA camp. Photo submitted

Benjamin Franklin Fairless once said, “What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind there are just four essential ingredients: Choose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of the team.” The Xavier Cheerleading Program finds a familiar face as they welcome their new head coach, Piper Kesserling. The former Xavier cheerleader has transitioned from coaching the Varsity Wrestling Squad to being the head coach of the entire cheerleading program. Kesserling graduated from Xavier in 2012, having been in cheer for all four years of high school. Her continuous work ethic and passion for improving Xavier’s cheer program rewarded her with the position of being a varsity captain both her junior and senior year. Kesserling enjoyed cheering so much at Xavier that she was compelled to continue improving her skills into college. While attending Mount Mercy University, Kesserling cheered for the school’s game day and competitive cheer team. “Being captain both my junior and senior year was a really great leadership experience for me and helped me become a good captain for my college team,” Kesserling said. Many current Xavier cheerleaders have found Kesserling’s background as a member of the Xavier cheer program to be a great asset to the team, including one of the current varsity football captains, Abigail Globokar. “I think it’s been really great to have Piper here to bring some fresh ideas to the team. Since she was a part of the same program years ago, she really knows what Xavier cheer is all about” Globokar said, “She is constantly pushing us to be better and she truly wants to see us succeed. Especially with [cheer] being pushed back from Covid-19 last year, she has really helped us keep the morale up and just progress one step at a time.” Since Kesserling has started at Xavier, many changes and traditions have already been made to the cheer program. A few changes made following Kesserling’s arrival include: wearing the old uniforms for throwback night, bringing gift bags to the visiting team’s cheerleaders, extra team bonding, fundraisers, and improving stunting skills. The biggest modification overall has been the cheerleaders entering to compete at state. “I hope that the program continues to grow and we continue to learn new skills. I am really happy with the fact that we are going to the state competition which Xavier has never done before,” Kesserling said. The Xavier cheerleaders plan to compete at state on Saturday, November 6. They are looking forward to seeing how the season progresses as their coach brings many changes to the program.