Weekly Feature

2018-03-08 / Local News


West varsity cheer coach leaves near-decade legacy

Schroeder Schroeder After nine years as the varsity cheerleading coach at West Seneca West Senior High School, Stephanie Schroeder will be retiring.

Schroeder began coaching at West in 2009, and in 2011 took over as varsity coach.

Under her tutelage, West has been the premier high school cheerleading program in Section VI.

Most recently, West Seneca West was ranked as the third best coed team in New York State following the team’s state championship placement this past weekend.

Since 2011, the team has been fall Erie County Interscholastic Conference champions in their respective division in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017, and winter champions in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

West has won sectionals in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and is the only Division 1 school to earn three consecutive state championship bids.

Due in part to Schroeder’s coaching versatility, the team has won all three divisions — small, large and coed - in each of its three sectional victories.

In addition to the team’s success in Section VI, the West Seneca West cheer team won a national title in 2014 at the Cheer Ltd. CANAM in Myrtle Beach.

Beyond the success of the program, Schroeder has been able to directly influence the lives of nearly 100 girls, many whom she coached from the time they were in seventh grade through their senior year.

“She gave her heart and soul to these girls,” said her husband, Joseph. “Almost every girl that Steph coached left the program with at least one championship title. In addition, Steph left the girls with a role model, mentor and friend. Steph genuinely cared about the success of her girls outside of cheer and even as they went away to college. She keeps in contact as her girls enter college, gives advice and encouragement.”

Schroeder, maiden name Babcock, married her husband in June 2017. At their wedding, two tables were designated to girls she had coached throughout the years.

“It was an amazing thing to see,” he said.

(Story ideas for this feature can be sent to West Seneca Bee Editor Jennifer Waters, Bee Group Newspapers, 5564 Main St., Williamsville NY 14221 or by calling 204-4922.)

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