Friday, September 7, 2018

Friday Night Lights Feature - Shiner High School Feature Twirler

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Who else can hear the cheers of the football stadium already? Those Friday Night Lights are getting ready to get fired up, and our Texas Twirlers will once again be on the field entertaining the crowds for week two.

That also means time again for our Friday Night Lights feature of the week. This time we are in the town known for its hometown beer and hometown atmosphere. Today's Friday Night Lights Feature interview is with the Shiner High School Feature Twirler, Kathleen Knesek!

Kathleen is the Feature Twirler, but is joined on the field by a twirling line that includes three girls – Lilli, who is the line Captain (Sophomore), Kaitlin (Sophomore), and Autumn (Freshmen). Shiner also has a Jr. High line. The audition process for the twirlers in Shiner requires showing the basic fundamentals for spots on both the Jr High and High School lines. They also perform an individual routine consisting of each of the basic fundamentals and perform the school song and fight song routines. To audition for the feature position, they perform a different individual routine showcasing their abilities. It was a really big moment for Kathleen to be named the Feature Twirler for this year, an honor for which she is proud to have earned. In fact, she tells us that her first public performance at Meet the Band is a moment she will never forget!

Now lets take a moment to learn more about Kathleen and being a Shiner High School twirler…

Kathleen Knesek, Junior
Competition Level: Beginner

Kathleen has been twirling since she was six years old with Coach Pat Montgomery and the Alamo City Strutters. She is the most proud of winning the Twirltacular Hall of Fame Soloist competition. Her favorite competition trick is a right illusion followed by a left illusion, and her favorite field tricks are leaps or anything with a ribbon baton. After she graduates High School, Kathleen hopes to get a degree in Museum Textile Studies and work in a major museum like the Smithsonian to reconstruct and replicate historical clothing.

Fun Facts!
Favorite Music Genre: Early 2000s country

Favorite Quote: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

Best life skill she has learned from baton twirling… “To always have faith and confidence in what you do.”

When she is not twirling, she loves to… “Participate in 4-H activities.”

Something most people don’t know about her is… “I have been twirling since I was six years old but was not actively competing until I was 12. I also got to be a high school twirler as an eighth grader and I got to compete at UIL State Solo and Ensemble with the four other twirlers.” 

In baton twirling she has been most inspired by…
*College Miss Majorette of America & Baylor Golden Girl, Adaline Bebo
*World Medalist & Arkansas Feature Twirler, Savannah Miller
*World Medalist, UTSA Feature Twirler, & ACS Teammate, Michael Lopez
*Miss Majorette of TX, TX Tech Feature Twirler, & ACS Teammate, Abby Morgan

Most Memorable advice from coach… “Stand up tall and straight, because one day when you are getting married I can say ‘look how pretty she looks standing up straight, I helped her learn to walk with confidence'.”

Favorite moment as a baton twirler… “Either getting to twirl at a Spurs game in 2013 or twirling in Reed Arena and Rudder Theater at State 4-H Roundup, where I was able to share the sport of twirling with others in the room.”

Funniest moment as a baton twirler… “Either when I got my baton stuck on the roof of the school or when I broke two batons in less than 5 minutes.”

Shiner is a town and high school rich in tradition, and the twirlers get to be a big part of it. Kathleen tells us that “our school fight song is actually a polka song called the Shiner Song, which makes us one of only a few High Schools to have a polka song for a fight song”, which makes them one of the few twirling lines that get to twirl to a polka fight song! How fun is that? One of Kathleen’s favorite traditions at Shiner occurs after their school wins a State Championship. “The team rides on a fire truck through town when they get home to celebrate with the community”. 

As a member of the Shiner Marching Band, they have a great time, and some great performances, while still working hard. They also have some great inside jokes. One popular one is “Heaven forbid”, which is what their head band director says at any time he finds appropriate. Also, they like to remind each other to “WWJD", which stands for What Would Jackson do. "Jackson is one of our drum majors and someone we as Band students should look up to”.

When asked what the best part of being in the Shiner band is, Kathleen said it has to be the feeling of family! “The family that marching band gives you, each person pushes themselves to make the whole group better. Marching season gives you a new family that you can trust to help you through anything and everything.”

After working so hard to make it as the Shiner Feature Twirler, we asked Kathleen what advice she would give to other twirlers trying to make their school’s Feature spot. She said to just enjoy the time. “Don’t be afraid to give a performance your best shot! Go out, have fun, and if you make a mistake, just over look it”. Great advice Kathleen!

We want to wish Kathleen, the Shiner Twirlers, and the Shiner community a great season. Go Comanches!

We hope you have enjoyed this edition of our FNL Feature. Have a favorite High School or Collegiate Twirler that you would like to see interviewed? Please contact us at texastwirlcontact@gmail.comwith their name and email address so that we can reach out to them!