And That’s About The Long & The Short Of It!
Kailee Hansmire, I’ve written about her a lot here on United, and while I’m not sure that I’ve written about Hunter Thedford, per se, I’ve certainly posted his photo many times in articles about Comanche Indian football and basketball teams. Today, however, these two are making news own their own, outside the confines of Comanche High School.
As you know Kailee has been working her buns off for years, trying to become a college cheerleader, but I must admit that I wasn’t expecting her answer when I asked her about tryout day.
“We saw Bryce Petty!”
Actually, I’m exaggerating her reaction a bit, but Bryce actually did go into the room to check on the results for the girls. They weren’t ready, but it was a big deal that he checked, right?
“That first cut,” Kailee went on to explain, “went from 50 rookies to 9 rookies,” and while she was way too modest to say so, obviously, she had to beat out a lot of other competitors to make it to the finals.
“The vets joined us on Sunday, which brought the number up to 16. Even the veteran cheerleaders have to tryout in the finals. The guys are not included in that number. They try out separately.”
There is no certain number of rookies that have to be included on the squad like in high school; however, 6 of them did make the Baylor squad, which will include 14 girls and 14 guys. AND….the really BIG NEWS is that our Kailee Hansmire is now officially one of them! In typical fashion, she was quick to point out that being elected is just the first step, however.
“Being allowed to travel on the cheer squad is based on grades, community service points, stunts, tumbling (I have to maintain my tryout skill level or better it.), and attitude. Basically, I am competing against myself, not the others. Also, the universities that we play tell the visiting teams how many cheerleaders they can bring. Those who are allowed to travel earn that right from the point system. It’s going to be hard.”
Turning to Hunter Thedford, I had a feeling that he wasn’t going to be as easy. While I had to muzzle Hansmire to get her to quit talking, Thedford probably hasn’t spoken 5 words to me in the two years he’s been a student at CHS.
“So….tell me all about it,” I started, not really expecting much of an answer. I was wrong!
“I had to beg my parents to move to Comanche so that I could go to school here. Finally, we did move my junior year, and we lived in a little rent house, but I knew it was the only shot I had at getting to play college sports. I really came here for basketball, and then I learned that I don’t even really like basketball like I do football.
“First of all, I had to learn how to play 11-man football, and I didn’t even get in the game until the fourth game of the season. When I did finally get to play, I realized that it is football that I love. I am 100% more football than basketball.”
Even if he does stand 6’8” in his sock-feet, Hunter made it very clear that football is his sport, and like many others, he began receiving the typical letters of interest during his junior year of high school. Unlike most others, some of those letters continued into his senior year, the year that they actually count. And then came the big one…the one stamped with the initials SMU!
“I was really lucky to get an offer from a school close to home with a coach from a small town who understands what small towns are like and what I am all about.”
Of course, he was referring to Defensive Assistant Keith Gunn from next door Stephenville, which definitely sounds like a great fit all the way around. Hunter doesn’t know yet if he will red shirt or not, but if he does not, here’s the punch line to the story.
This coming fall, the season will kick off with Baylor traveling to Dallas to take on the SMU Mustangs. If Hailee gets her points and if Hunter does not red shirt, Comanche, Texas will have a cheerleader in green on one side of the field and a player in blue on the other side of the field, leaving those of us watching from the sidelines wondering who on earth we are supposed to cheer for and with!!
I don’t know about you, but I’ll be cheering for both teams, and wishing both of these students the very best of luck!