New baton team performs at home football games

Chloe McAleer, Reporter

At recent football games, baton twirling is the latest performance to take to the field.

The baton team is made up of two twirlers; freshmen Jayda Turner and Addison Hedin. 


For the past football season, the duo has been performing at home games. Their routine consists of them spinning their batons, followed by high tosses which they catch while dancing. 


The team was started by Coach Brooke Riley as a way to prepare the twirlers for college.


“I wanted to get them to be able to perform on the field and do basketball and football seasons,” Coach Riley said. “It gives them a little bit of experience twirling on the field because it gets [them] ready for college twirling.”


According to Riley, other high schools within the metro area also have baton teams; her hope is that Bellevue West and East could combine to form one Bellevue team.


As for right now, Riley said she just wants the girls to have fun while performing at home games.


“We’re putting on a really fun performance, something that gets the crowd excited, that goes along well with music, and I think they’re doing really good,” Riley said.


A lot of work goes into baton twirling, according to Turner. She said she practices up to six days a week, perfecting her skills in order to perform to the best of her ability.


“I work on all of my harder tricks that I have, and make sure that I feel comfortable with all those tricks,” Turner said. “If I need to change something [at the] last second, to make myself more comfortable, then I do that.”


According to Hedin, performing in front of the student body can be nerve-wracking, but it has gotten easier the more she’s done it. 


Along with calming nerves, the girls said they also try to stay positive before performing.


“We hype each other up, and we just have fun the first few times before we go and perform for the game,” Hedin said.


Just like any activity, baton twirling also comes with its difficulties whether it be learning new tricks or practicing eye-hand coordination, according to Turner. Besides the difficulties, both the girls feel as if they’ve formed a closer bond since starting baton twirling.


“We’ve really grown together and we’ve just gotten used to each other and new friendships started,” Hedin said.


According to Turner, baton twirling also acts as an outlet for her which helps her release any built up stress.


“I really like how it’s kind of an escape from anything,” Turner said. “I know that I can just pick up a baton and then let out all my stress.”


Riley said she hopes the football game performances spread publicity in order to attract more kids in the future.


“I’m hoping that with Jayda and Addison twirling here that can kind of show people what baton twirling is, then we can have a few more twirlers that are around here,” Riley said.