Football cheerleaders face lots of challenges, from bad weather to sore muscles to sluggish fans. For Bethany Wissler, even Down Syndrome cannot keep her from her favorite extracurricular activity. The Whitmer High School senior is an active member of the squad at all home games, using skills she has honed since early elementary school.
Her mom, Kathy, reports that Bethany has always wanted to be a cheerleader, and loves performing in front of a crowd of fans. Washington Local School cheerleading advisor Kelly Steele knew of Bethany’s hard work and dedication through the years and encouraged her, even offering her a chance to cheer at basketball games. “ Kelly loves to watch Bethany cheer, and tells me that lots of fans enjoy watching Beth, too,” says her proud mother.
Kathy also credits Bethany’s best friend Grace Haskins with helping her develop the confidence and poise needed to cheer in front of large crowds. “They have been best friends since first grade. They’ve done all the things best friends do “parties, sleep-overs, church activities. And now they are doing cheerleader camps and games together. It is so much fun to see Beth having the time of her life with her best friend.”
Bethany’s future direction isn’t a certainty, but her mom hopes she’ll be an advocate for those with Down Syndrome. “She is proof of what kids like that can do!”