Silex Owls cheer

Silex, Mo. - First-year Silex cheerleading coach Brandy Engelmeyer considers herself lucky. 

Entering the 2021-2022 campaign, she has a small, but relatively experienced unit boasting two seniors – and others learning at a faster than expected pace.

“We’ve got four girls that are pretty experienced, and two more that are new,” said Engelmeyer, who takes over the program after two years as an assistant. “(The new girls) are picking up on our cheers and dances quickly – and we’re thankful for that.”

Unlike Troy and Winfield, Silex doesn’t have football, so basketball season is the cheerleading team’s first opportunity to show what it can do each year.

Engelmeyer said it’s not something that greatly affects her team.

“For most of them, it’s what they know,” she said. “A lot of them don’t go to football games because they grew up here – and we don’t have football, of course.” 

The Owls’ squad, like the other cheer teams in the area, was greatly affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic, and it changed how the team operated last season. However, Engelmeyer said things are slowly coming back to normal.

“We still had the same number of cheerleaders (last year), but we were unable to travel, so that was different for us,” she said. “We are able to travel this year. We’re not going to all of the away games, but we are going to tournaments we didn’t get to go to last year.”

Despite that, the uncertainty of the pandemic heading into the current school year caused the team not to schedule any competitions. Silex is making plans to possibly return to competition in 2023.

“We’ll have to see,” Engelmeyer said. “The possibility is definitely there.”