Haylie Klose is quite grounded for someone who spends a lot of time in the air.
Klose, a senior at St. Hubert High School, is a flyer on the Bambies cheerleading team. That means she’s one of the brave girls who gets tossed in the air while her teammates stand under her and help her land safely.
For her, it’s no big deal, but there was a time when it was a bit scary going airborne.
“I trust the other girls so much, I know they’ll be there for me,” said Klose, who played softball, soccer and basketball before settling on cheerleading as her main sport. “When I first started doing it, it was a little scary, but now I love doing it. I’ve been doing it my whole life. After you do it for a while, you start to love it.
“It’s really, really cool to fly. I’ve been a base, too, and that’s fun. We have great (bases), so it makes it a lot easier for us. Cheerleading is really a team sport. You have to depend on each other, and we’re always there for each other. When you have teammates like I do, it makes being a flyer a lot easier.”
Klose loves taking to the sky. She loves the results it produces even more.
A four-year varsity cheerleader, Klose has traveled with her team three times to Disney for the national cheerleading championship. Last week, her team qualified to make it four-for-four, so she’ll get another opportunity to do her routine in front of the cheerleading universe.
This year, they head Orlando on Feb. 8-9 in hopes of bringing home more medals.
Last year, the varsity team took third place in its division, but the best part wasn’t being one of the best teams in the country.
The best part was being there with her teammates and having a great time.
“We have a lot of fun, a few years ago we couldn’t fly down because it was snowing so we had to drive and our flights were canceled,” said Klose, who got her cheerleading start at Vogt and later St. Matt’s. “The memories we have are the best. We have such a good time together.
“We work really hard to get ready for nationals, but we have a great time there. We practice a lot down there, but the coaches make sure we have time to have fun. It’s business, but we have a lot of fun while there.”
Nationals are the conclusion of a season that begins during the summer. And during the season, there are many competitions along the way. Among them are the PIAA state competition that the Bambies won for the first time last year. But others are local competitions, including one that the team hosts.
The local competitions give the Bambies a chance to cheer in front of their fans, but it’s not always as competitive as the big meets.
“They’re a lot of fun,” Klose said. “We always do our routine, but we have fun watching the other teams.
“Winning the state meet was great because it was the first time we ever won. That meant a lot to us. The seniors have gone to nationals every year but it was really exciting to win the state meet. We never did that before.”
Next year, Klose hopes to continue cheerleading in college, though she’s still in the process of deciding where she’ll go. Ideally she’ll find a place where she can cheer. But she also hopes that’s not the end of her life in the sport.
“I think I’d like to major in design, maybe interior design or event planning,” said Klose, who lives in Northwood. “I really hope I can find a place where I can keep cheering and hopefully I make the team and I’m able to still do it.
“I love cheerleading, and I think after college, I would love to coach somewhere. Maybe as an assistant or something. I would love to stay around the sport and help.”
But before she’s showing others how to land, she’ll be flying high for the Bambies in hopes of bringing more hardware home to Torresdale and Cottman.
Once again this year, all three St. Hubert teams qualified for nationals, so the entire program, led by coach Lisa McNesby, will be Disney bound.
Obviously, Klose would love to end her career with a national championship, but the way she looks at it, she can’t lose.
She’s already had a great career and, even better, she’s had great teammates she’ll be friends with forever.
“I love cheering for St. Hubert,” said Klose, who is also a Bambie ambassador and a member of Athletes Helping Athletes. “We have such a great team. We all work together, and I’m a better cheerleader because of them. It’s fun to see everyone work together and see us do well as a team. It’s what the sport is about.”