Cheering her way to a captain’s spot


Freshman Kaylie Dowd poses with her CTH cheer team. After spending a day on the mat, it was all smiles from the team. Dowd is pictured top row, second on the left.

Hailey Wojtaszek, Author

Ever since freshman Kaylie Dowd began her journey in competition cheer at age three, she couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

Dowd has been cheering for Cheer and Tumble Headquarters (CTH) in Merrillville, IN for eleven years now.

“My mom put me in cheer when I was three, I continued this sport because I fell in love with it. Cheer was something that challenged me to learn the skills and become a better person,” Dowd said.

This past season, Dowd was given the honor of becoming a captain. She had to put in serious dedication and hard work to the team and gym to prove herself worthy. 

“When I found out I was a CTH captain, I immediately called all my friends and family to tell them the great news and took tons of pictures with the sign that was put in my front yard by coaches and parents.”

Along with being captain, Dowd is part of three teams at CTH. Where a typical competition day lasts around eight or so hours and about fifteen competitions happen a season. 

A competition day for Dowd calls for an early start in the morning. Most competitions, she begins her day getting hair and makeup done and arrives at the venue. The team she is performing with first, stretches out together and warm ups. They mark through the whole two-minute and thirty-second routine practicing all the stunts and tumbling involved. After they get called down to the mats to perform, Dowd prepares for her next two competing teams. The day finally ends with awards where many photos are taken.

With Dowd’s extensive experience and passion for cheer she would love to continue cheer in college, but she’s not sure when, it wa s

“It’s not my top priority, but I would love to continue cheering. I don’t know if I plan on entering a competitive gym as I’m not too interested in collegiate cheerleading,” she said.