By Chuck Reherman
After a year away from coaching to watch her daughters compete in cheer, Joy Bjerk was ready to get back into thick of things.
Bjerk, who took a teaching position this past year at Yukon and was also the president of the Cheer Booster Club the last three years, took time out to watch her daughters Piper and Danica cheer.
With one daughter graduating and a second deciding to become a manager, Bjerk saw an opportunity to get back into coaching when the position at Yukon came open.
And, she was named to take over the position and coach/sponsor.
“I was definitely ready to get back at it,” Bjerk said. “The former cheer sponsor is a co-worker and friend of mine. We worked closely the years prior since I had served as the booster president.
“She had told me she was thinking of stepping down and that’s when I started to really think about doing the job again,” she said. “I was a cheerleader in high school and college and truly love the sport and knew I still had more to give to the sport. So that is what actually helped me make my decision to try for the position.
“I actually showed my interest for the job months before it was open so it was a long wait and well worth it. I was overwhelmed with excitement when I got the call that the job was mine. I began working as soon as I found out and I can’t wait to get our new squads selected and started back to practices.”
Bjerk has a long list of coaching. She was the cheer sponsor/coach at Western Oaks Middle School, Putnam City High School and at Mustang North Middle School.
She over lapped coaching at SNU while she was also at Putnam City and then again at Mustang North when she changed teaching assignments.
“I actually had some weeks where I was at games four days a week to cover responsibilities at both locations,” Bjerk said. “Last year (2018-2019 school season) I chose to come to Yukon and give up sponsor/ cheer to be able to be around for my daughters both which were both on the high school cheer teams. My oldest was the captain for the varsity team so I really just wanted to enjoy her senior year and also be there for my youngest who was an incoming Freshman.
“I had already been the YHS Cheer Booster President for three years and that kept me pretty involved so I knew the transition would be ok even though I knew I would miss working with athletes. This past year 2019-2020 was my only year to have no connection to cheer. My oldest headed off to college and my youngest became a football and wrestling manager. This is when I realized how much I missed my sponsor/coaching responsibility.
“I have always enjoyed building relationships and pushing my teams to be their best on and off the mat. That’s when I decided I wanted to apply for the opening at Yukon. I am very excited I was selected for this position!”
Since taking the position, she has been busy getting tryouts set up which are tentatively set for June 18
“We have set tryouts for phase two of the re-opening,” Bjerk said. “We have been in contact with these students weekly giving them material to work on and conditions workouts. “Our first priority is to be responsible and make sure our students are kept safe during this time.