Kaitlyn Katz, DRHS junior and varsity cheerleader, was recently named cheerleader of the month by the national cheerleading apparel company Chasse. Katz said she used her experience coming from a military family to develop her platform for the contest.

“I felt like there were two things that were always the same: my church and cheerleading,” she said. “No matter where I was, I was home and doing what I love.”

Although she didn’t announce to her DRHS cheer coach Kayla Lopez right away, Katz eventually shared her achievement, which thrilled her coach.

“She’s a good representative,” Lopez said. “She’s a well rounded young lady and it’s a well-deserved award. Everything she projects in and out of cheer is just awesome.”

After graduating high school in 2019, Katz said she hopes to participate in collegiate cheer at BYU. She’s debating whether she wants pursue a career in the medical field or follow in her father’s footsteps and become a pilot for the U.S. Air Force.

Janel Meza, Del Rio High School senior, varsity cheerleader and team captain hopeful, began cheering when she was 7 years-old and hasn’t skipped a day since.

“I immediately fell in love with it,” Meza said. “Ever since then it’s been cheer nonstop.”

In addition to cheering throughout elementary, middle and high school, Meza, 17, has also participated with the Amistad Eagles, a local competitive team. She also coaches for The Chiefs, a Del Rio peewee cheer squad. Cheer not only pumps up the crowd during a big game, but it helps bring out the best in people, Meza said.

“The attributes it gives you helps you become a leader, a good friend, and a team player,” Meza said. “It’s a sport that definitely brings out the best in you.”

After graduation, Meza said she plans to join the coast guard and pursue a career in the medical field. Although graduation will mark the end of Meza’s cheer career, she said she’s looking forward to exploring new ventures.

“It’s bittersweet but I’m exited to go through a different journey,” she said. “I’m stepping out of my comfort zone a little bit but I’m excited for it.”

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