Jenna Cloutier Hired as New Cheer Coach

Under new leadership, cheer team prepares for upcoming season


Courtney Doherty

Before coaching at WHS, Cloutier worked as Patriots Cheerleader for four seasons.

Throughout the last year, the effects of the pandemic have subsided enough to allow sports back to their natural setup. While Walpole High School’s cheer team was able to kick off their season in August, their progress has been pushed back due to a transition in coaching staff. Jenna Cloutier, the team’s new head coach, has been working alongside senior captains Abigail Cunningham, Emily Botelho, and Hannah Mulligan to push past all challenges and lead the team to success.

Cloutier’s cheerleading experience started as a child, spending eight years cheering for Pop Warner and later becoming one of their coaches. Her Pop Warner seasons also overlapped with her eight years of all-star cheerleading, which led into four years of college cheer at UMass Dartmouth. She soon began a professional career as a Providence Bruins Ice Girl for a year and a New England Patriots Cheerleader for four seasons.

“She knows a lot about cheerleading, which is awesome,” Cunningham said. “She’s given a lot of freedom to the captains to take the team where we want it. The girls get to voice their opinions to us and we can have something almost like a democracy.”

Cloutier officially assumed the role of head coach after Walpole’s first varsity football game of the year. She helped prepare the team by teaching sideline cheers along with tumbling and stunt sequences safe enough to perform on the track and turf to performduring the game. After the first two games, practices have become more competition focused. She makes sure to prioritize repetition of skills to ensure safety and good execution.

While coaching a team of almost 20 cheerleaders, Cloutier has reminded herself and her athletes that the team’s goal of the season is not to focus on winning, but to have fun and continue to learn in order to relieve the pressure and anxiety that comes from competition.

“It is a lot of pressure, time and effort to coach anything by yourself,” Cloutier said. “There have been a lot of late nights of researching fun stunt ideas and putting the scheduling together”.

The team received their competition choreography on Sept. 23 during a five hour practice. Many of the cheerleaders have years of cheer experience and some are rookies; nevertheless, Cloutier and her senior captains are excited about the various talents the athletes have and the potential their season holds.

Cloutier has taught her athletes—experienced or not—new skills, techniques and stunting positions with her cheer background and patience. 

“She has taught me many new things,” freshman Demi Kaselis said. “Based on all-star experience, I [have] learned [more] stunting skills in the past month than I have in eight years in all-star cheer.”

While the cheer team is coming off of a successful season, which ended in a nationals nomination, Cloutier is working to help the team progress and provide them with a fun and memorable season.

“There’s so much to cheerleading, which is why I love it!,” Cloutier said.