How does Valerie Nothnagle pull it off?

Valerie Nothnagle explains her life as being a cheerleader and part of the marching band.

Sophie Liang, Reporter

Friday football games are a high school staple. However, without the cheerleaders and marching band, the experience wouldn’t be the same.

Valerie Nothnagle is a sophomore at Hershey High School. She balances both cheerleading and band.

During the fall sports season it can get a little hectic. “During football season I’m extremely busy,” Nothnagle said, “I have cheer almost every school day after school and marching band rehearsals on Tuesday from 6-9.”

Monday through Thursdays aren’t even the most hectic parts of her week.

“On Fridays it’s the most chaotic because of band rehearsal right after school then leaving early to make it to cheer practice. On top of that I have to make sure I have all my equipment, and figure out what I’m participating in that night and what not,” she said.

When participating in essentially two fall sports/activities that take place at the same time, they are bound to interfere.

“When things are scheduled at the same time I have to choose, which can be really hard sometimes. I usually choose based on what will impact others the most,” said Nothnagle.

Recently she had to choose between district band and the national cheer competition. Nothnagle ended up picking cheer.

“I really wanted to do district band, but ultimately if I didn’t go to cheer the team would have to redo parts of the choreography which could really impact our end results,” claims Nothnagle, “However I did county band instead, and it allowed me to showcase my musical efforts like it would have in district band.”

With missing certain activities and being late to practice, people would assume her coaches and teachers would have hard feelings.

“The teachers are very understanding of my schedule and that I’ll be late to some things because of conflicting schedules,” Nothnagle said, “but the reason I’m able to do it is because of the supportive people, like Coach Kim West and Mr. Brandon Buterbaugh.”

Although her schedule can be very complicated, Nothnagle finds joy in both cheer and band.

“I love the people and team aspect of cheer, team bonding is a huge part of Hershey cheer. I also just enjoy dancing and cheering,” said Nothnagle.

Nothnagle has been cheering since she was in 2nd grade, making it a big part of her life.

Recently, the cheer team went to Disney for the National competition.

“The Disney trip was so fun. It wasn’t stressful at all because I felt prepared. I also really liked just hanging out with the team because it brought girls from different grades and friend groups together,” Nothnagle said.

The bid for nationals and Disney trip sealed the deal for Nothnagle.

“When I found out we were going to Disney I was like ‘wow so this feeling is why I love the sport so much’, it was just so surreal that we worked so hard and got to that point,” said Nothnagle.

Like cheer, Valerie is also passionate about band and it’s amenities.

“My favorite parts of being in band are making music, meeting new people, and how it connects people in so many ways. I also enjoy being in an ensemble where I get to listen to others and better myself,“ Nothnagle said.

Being so active in both communities shows Nothnagle’s dedication and involvement.

Nothnagle’s teammates have nothing but good words to say about her. Teammate Kelsey Cartee praises Nothnagle for her efforts and dedication. “Val always comes to practice prepared and knows all of the choreography. She also brings so much energy to the team and never fails to make us laugh,” said Cartee.

Valerie Nothnagle is the epitome of hard work and dedication, as juggling two things with conflicting schedules, school, and other commitments is no easy task.