Monday, November 11, 2019

Friday Night Lights Feature - Needville High School Twirlers

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

This Monday we are continuing our journey to meet the many great twirlers around Texas. This post would have normally come on Friday evening, but due to connectivity issues we are making a special Friday Night Lights post this lovely Monday. We are always happy to celebrate Texas twirlers any day of the week!

Each season this blog likes to get to know our awesome Texas twirlers a little better by learning about them and their experiences. We will be meeting a new High School twirler each Friday and discovering more about our Texas Collegians during the week. Make sure to follow us at or on Instagram @twirlingiscatchingtx for live content and Insta-story take overs by some of your favorites.

This week’s Friday Night Lights Feature is the Needville High School Twirlers!

Needville High School, located southwest of the Houston area, is the home of the Fighting Blue Jays, and these two awesome twirlers! NHS Twirlers, Emily Wittneben and Jailyn Webb, brighten up the field each Friday night as they perform for their community.

How did these two become the Blue Jay twirlers? “Tryouts are usually held on a Thursday or Friday.  The week of tryouts, the twirlers are given “open gym” where the gyms are reserved for the twirlers to practice on the gym floor where tryouts are held. A “mock” tryout is held on Wednesday prior to actual tryouts.  High School twirlers, in addition to their solo, must learn a “group” routine that they must do at tryouts. This helps the judges to see how well the twirlers do with memorizing a routine in a short time, and more importantly how they twirl in a line, (i.e. counting, and working as a team). On the day of tryouts, the Jr High and High School both hold tryouts. The High School twirlers must perform their solo to their choice of music, demonstrate mastery of fundamentals, and then a group routine.”

Both Emily and Jailyn were honored to be named the twirlers this season, as they love getting to be a part of NHS Game Day. We asked them what their favorite part is, and they told us about their stadium walk. “Before every home game, the band marches from the high school to the stadium with the Twirlers leading the way. Police Officers close the road for the band to walk over as our football stadium is down the road from the actual high school.”

As the twirlers, they are a part of the NHS Marching Band and get to enjoy all the fun traditions that come with being members. They told us their best memories come from joining with their band friends. “At the end of summer band, we have a water day.  Seniors throw water balloons, and the fire department sends a fire truck over to come and spray the kids with water to cool them down. Also, before every performance, whether it is a game or a marching competition, the twirlers and color guard come together to pray for a successful performance.”

Now that we have learned about becoming NHS twirlers, lets learn more about Emily and Jailyn!

Emily Wittneben, Sophomore
Competition Level – Beginner

Emily has been twirling for 13 years and works with Coaches Tracey Sweeny (her mom!), Patti Jan, Jana Reid, and Heather Mikel. She is the proudest of winning the Marching Auxiliaries Regional Solo. Her favorite trick is juggling 5 batons between her and her partner. In baton twirling, she has been most inspired by Adaline Bebo. After high school she hopes to twirl at a University and go to college for Nursing.

Jailyn Webb, Freshman
Competition Level: Beginner

Jailyn has been twirling for 11 years and works with Coaches Patti Jan and Heather Holland. She is the proudest of receiving the “High Point Winner” award at the Needville Twirling Competition. Her favorite trick is one she learned this summer at Camp. “It is a two-baton trick where I do a horizontal high toss, then using the other baton when it comes down, I pop it in the middle and the baton goes to my partner”. In baton twirling, she has been most inspired by Savannah Miller. After high school she hopes to attend Texas A&M.

Fun Facts!
Favorite Color – Purple (Emily & Jailyn)
Favorite Movie – Hallmark Christmas Movies (Emily & Jailyn)
Favorite Music – Country Music (Jailyn), Country and Pop (Emily)

Favorite Quote…
Emily – “Act as if what you do makes a difference… It does!”
Jailyn – “When you don’t succeed, try harder!”

When they are not twirling, they love to…
Emily – “Sleep, watch Netflix, and hang out with friends.”
Jailyn – “Hang out with friends.”

Something you might not know about them is…
Emily – “I am really hard on myself and expect perfect routines.”
Jailyn – “Not only do I twirl, but I also play basketball and softball.”

Most memorable advice from their coaches…
Emily – “Everyone has a different style; you can twirl your own!”
Jailyn – “Go out there and enjoy the experience and the performance.”

Favorite moment of twirling together…
“Over the summer, The High School Twirlers attended the South Texas Camp of Champions in Gonzales.  They had a lot of time to spend together and had a lot of fun!! Lots of laughs that week, including an encounter with a family of skunks!!”

Funniest moment of twirling together…
“While performing at halftime at a football game, Jailyn got hit in the mouth. We thought it was lipstick on her teeth, but it was really blood.  She never missed a beat and performed the entire halftime without it affecting her.”

Through the many hours of practice, these twirlers have learned many things, but they have found that teamwork is what makes this experience so positive for them. “You have to work together in order to succeed.”

Finally, we asked them what advice they would pass on to any twirlers who want to one day twirl for their High School, and they told us, “When you fail, stay positive and try again.”

We want to say thank you to Emily and Jailyn for being this week’s feature and congrats on a great season!

We hope you have enjoyed this blog post. We are always looking for great new stories about Texas twirlers. Do you have an idea or some information we could use to help highlight our sport? Contact us at and we would love to hear more about it.

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