Cheerleading – The Patriot Way

From the Sidelines

All the great high school coaches I have known, Al Hetrick at Versailles, Tim Goodwin at Marion Local, Greg and Jerrod Newland at Greenville, Tom Holman at Greenville, and Tim Boeckman at St. Henry all had one thing in common…they were demanding!  Not overbearing and demanding in a bad way, but in the way that demanded that their athletes became the best THEY could be, and do it the right way.

They worked their players hard, taught solid fundamentals, had meaningful, structured practices, assistant coaches who bought in to the system they implemented, and had parents and solid administrations that let them excel.  To this list, you can now add the name of Danielle Ary Bourne, the cheerleading coach at Tri-Village.

For several years now, I have heard about the cheerleaders at Tri-Village from other schools and parents; their spirit, their attitude, their athleticism, and their determination to be the best, or as Danielle states it; “To do it The Patriot Nation Way”!

All you have to do is watch these young ladies perform.  The most striking thing about them is the attitude. Their constant smiles as they do the difficult routines, kind of like they are going to kill you with kindness!  It seems their attitude is “We are going to yell, jump, perform, move, and outwork everybody so they know which team we are cheering for, and we don’t care what others think!”  It works……very well!

I have known Danielle since she was a little girl.  Her mom, Darlene, was cheerleading coach before Danielle and started this pursuit of excellence that Danielle has continued.  Mom was old school, Danielle is new school, and they worked together and meshed well enough to bring Tri-Village to another level.

If you talk to Danielle about her 13 year tenure at Tri-Village she will tell you that what makes them different is the atmosphere at “Patriot Nation”.  “It’s the whole system, the kids, the coaches, the Administration and most importantly the parents that understand “Patriot Nation”.

“They all strive and support excellence, and we are willing to work at it to get there!” Danielle told me.  It is the complete package that most schools do not have. There is no substitute for hard work, and the lady athletes on the cheerleading squad work hard, and the coach allows them to contribute to the routines.  It is a totally collaborative effort that brings them all together to be the best they can be.

The most striking thing I took from my conversation with Danielle was the importance of everybody being all in; coaches, athletes, parents, teachers, administration, all buying in to be excellent.

She mentioned this several times, and the pride was easy to see in her eyes. She loves the whole Village!  This has been a recurring theme in all the schools I know that are great in athletics and academics, everybody is in the pool!

“We have the attitude that this is the Patriot way, we are who we are and proud of it, and we don’t care who knows it!” said Danielle.

You have to love that attitude!  I have heard similar themes from the coaches I mentioned earlier.  A TOTAL COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE!  One of the coaches was my High School coach Tom Holman. Tom once told our team that “Perfection may be unattainable, but EXCELLENCE can be achieved!”  That spirit lives at Tri-Village.

Danielle is also quick to mention her coaching staff.  “Kara Wilson, my varsity basketball coach, is all in when it comes to being a Patriot and having the mentality that also strives for excellence!” said Danielle.

She mentioned that Kara and her are in constant communication because they both have the same passion and love for the sport, and how they can bring more to their athletes.

“My junior high coaches are just as amazing in teaching that Patriot Nation ethic to our youth programs.”

Danielle emphasized that the Varsity program has “Built a tradition that cannot be matched!” I see a lot of coaches that talk the talk, but with Danielle, she walks the walk, and so do her coaches!  They love their athletes, and the environment and don’t see the need to change because others don’t like it.

Coaches like Danielle who teach the right things are worth their weight in Gold. They are producing the next leaders for our County, and our Country, and teaching discipline, hard work, and toughness are things that are sorely needed at this time.

I hope they continue that, and I sincerely wish that other schools had that same spirit that shines like “The Patriot Nation Way”. School spirit and support are the keys to making good schools great, and good, thoughtful citizens for the future.  It may sound hokey, and out of touch…but it is needed and it works!  We need more people and schools like that!  That’s the way I see it, from the sidelines.

Danielle Ary Bourne, Tri-Village cheerleading coach and Michael Stegall. (Gaylen Blosser photo)
Tri-Village High School Cheerleaders - 2021 Great Darke County Fair. (Gaylen Blosser photo)
Tri-Village Junior High Cheerleaders - 2021 Great Darke County Fair. (Gaylen Blosser photo)
Commissioner Mike Stegall

Mike Stegall / Correspondent

Mike Stegall is a GHS alum and played on the Green Wave's only undefeated football team. Served 27 years as an OHSAA football official and currently serves as a Darke County Commissioner

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