Hutchison To Cheer At McKendree University
NCHS Senior Holly Hutchison signed to cheer at McKendree University after graduation. Holly is seated in the center. To Holly’s right is Holly’s mother Connie Marten. To Holly’s left is Steve Clanton, McKendree University Cheerleading Head Coach/ Spirit Director. Standing from left to right: NCHS Principal Mark Begando, NCHS Athletic Director Alicia Heggemeier, NCHS Cheerleading Coach Roxzen Pelczynski, McKendree University Cheerleading Graduate Assistant Brittney Scott, and Holly’s sister Hannah Marten.
By Brent Huelsmann
NCHS Senior Holly Hutchison will continue her athletic career after high school. Hutchison, a four-year member of the NCHS cheerleading squad, will continue as a member of the McKendree University Cheerleading Squad.
While at NCHS, Holly cheered for the Hornet football team, boys basketball team, as well as competed in cheerleading competitions.
McKendree University is located in Lebanon, about 40 minutes from Nashville.
Holly talked about how being close to home contributed to her decision. “I chose McKendree to continue my cheerleading career because it is a really good environment, it’s not too far away from home, and I didn’t want to go too far but I also wanted to get just a little bit away. I will be staying on campus so I can be right there.”
“Cheerleading has been really important to me for practically my whole life, so continuing to cheer was definitely a thing to do in college. The coaches are really supportive and I met them for about three months, and I can’t wait to allow them to help me become a better cheerleader”, said Hutchison. When asked when she knew that cheerleading was a possibility after high school, Hutchison said it began last fall. Hutchison was able to attend some cheerleading camps, one of which being at McKendree University, where she became familiar with the team. “That’s when I really fell in love with the McKendree cheer team. I didn’t really know a lot of the cheerleaders, but they supported me in everything I did, even though I wasn’t on the team yet.”
Holly was a fixture on the sidelines of home games for the Hornets over the past four years, and NCHS Cheerleading coach Roxzen Pelczynski talked about what she has meant to the program. “Holly has meant so much to us. She is a leader. The last two years Holly received the Leadership Award. I met Holly when she was a freshmen and she has improved so much over the past four years. Like I said, she is just a leader a very positive attitude, and I’m excited to see what Holly does in the future.”
Hutchison has cheered on a lot of good teams at NCHS, but one memory and one team stood out. “It would definitely be the Final Four my freshmen year. It was a blast. We were in football and it was the farthest we ever went and that’s something I’ll never forget. It was definitely memorable.”
In 2015, the Hornet football team made a run through the playoffs, knocking off New Berlin, Athens, and Niantic-Sangamon County in the playoffs.
As for the differences at the next level, Hutchison pointed to a couple things she will have to get used to, including a team with boys. “It’s actually so many differences. They allow us to do a lot more in college, and I think I’ll even become a better athlete, especially with the coaches knowledge. I get to cheer with boys now and that’s definitely a big difference. I haven’t been able to do anything with having a male under me, so that’ll be fun.”
Coach Pelczynski pointed to another thing that Hutchison will have to get used to at McKendree. “I know she will be flying on the opposite leg than what we do here. I know she will have to get used to that a little bit but she catches on so quickly, she’s not going to have any problems doing those things. She gets to compete with them still and cheer at basketball games so I know she’s excited.”
As for her favorite place to cheer, Hutchison of course pointed out Assembly Hall as her favorite, but pointed out another gym as a great place to cheer. “I love Assembly Hall, it’s beautiful and has a good atmosphere. Our band is always amazing, so I love just what it brings, but my second favorite gym would be Mater Dei. It’s definitely fun, it’s always packed, so that’s my second favorite.”
While at McKendree University, Hutchison plans to study Pre-Med and major in Biology. Hutchison said she plans to minor in Psychology.