Friday, September 28, 2018

Friday Night Lights Feature - Winston Churchill High School

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Welcome to the last weekend of Friday Night Lights in September. Can you believe it will be October soon? October brings our first contest entry due date, which means we are less than 50 days from the first contest of the season! If you have not already received the Fall Twirling Festival entry form, you can always find contest info at

This week we are back in San Antonio. Our Friday Night Lights Feature is special today as it is with a school close to my heart, my very own Alma Mater. Charger pride runs deep, so this week I am so happy to interview the Winston Churchill High School Feature Twirler, Stephanie McBurnett!

Stephanie loves being a Charger and a member of the Winston Churchill Marching Band program. One of the things she enjoys the most is the Meet The Chargers event. This is a giant pep rally the Saturday before school starts where they introduce all the sports for Churchill as well as the Clubs and other organizations. "During this event I get to twirl in front of thousands of people!" She also considers getting to twirl fire at the Homecoming pep rallies as one of her favorite moments as a twirler!

The thing she misses the most each year is when Marching Band season ends. She really enjoys the Band Trips and competing in the Bands of America competitions. "I miss getting to have a group to associate with like I have for the first semester". On top of fun trips, they also have lots of inside jokes. One that the band knows all too well is the phrase "Nobody Cares". This is always said to the band by their Band Director, Mr. Ruiz, when anyone in the band is completing about no sleep or homework, etc. As Mr. Ruiz is a very supportive band director, especially to the baton twirler, it is a fun joke between him and the band.

Now that we have learned a little more about Stephanie's involvement with the Charger Band, lets learn a little more about her and her twirling experiences.

Stephanie McBurnett, Junior
Competition Level: Intermediate

Stephanie has been twirling for almost seven years with the Texas Gems and Coach Major Margaret Mann. The title she is the most proud of was being named the 2018 Junior Intermediate Southwest Regional Pageant Winner. Stephanie's favorite competition trick is a leg wrap pop and her favorite field trick is a toss cartwheel catch into a one handed cartwheel, followed by a toss two spin, and then pose. After High School Stephanie hopes to Twirl at TCU and major in finance and minor in business management.

Fun Facts!
Favorite Color: Red and Black (Go Chargers!)
Favorite Animal: Cat (any)
Favorite Movie: Any Disney Movie or Romantic Comedy from the 80's
Favorite Quote: "Nothing is impossible. The word itself says 'I'm Possible'!" - Audrey Hepburn

When she is not twirling she likes to...
"Either sleep, watch Netflix, or hang out with my boyfriend and my friends."

Something people might not know about her is...
"That I'm a total nerd who loves math more than anything."

Current Twirlers she is most inspired by...
*Univ. of Arkansas Feature Twirler, Savannah  Miller, from whom she has learned so much about performing.
*Former Washington Feature Twirler, Catherine Watters as she has been a fabulous mentor to Stephanie!

Most Memorable Advice from her Coach, Major Margaret Mann: 
2) You can do anything you set your mind to!

Best life skill she has learned from baton twirling....
"The skill of interviewing. I have had to use this skill a lot in my school career with district news, student council interviews, and just talking with the other adults in general."

In fact, Stephanie was recently able to utilize these skills as she was interviewed by her school District for their feature piece called "NE 360 Focus". You can find that interview here -> NEISD September 2018 NE360 Focus. What a wonderful interview and opportunity for North East ISD to highlight their baton twirler and all her accomplishments!

On the field with the Charger Band, Stephanie gets to have lots of great opportunities, including an amazing performance at last year's Homecoming game. "I did a no drop at our homecoming game for halftime and caught my double illusion for the first time on the track during a football game!" Wow! Quite a fantastic game!

While she has had lots of awesome moments twirling, there have also been those days that didn't go as well. Stephanie tells us about the time at a pep rally where she had to learn to roll with the punches. "At our pink out pep rally my sophomore year I decided to wear a pair of shoes that I had never tested before, and in the middle of my routine the heel came off! I dropped the whole routine and basically laughed myself through the entire performance just because I was freaking out!"

This moment may have been freak-out worthy for sure, but it did teach her a lesson on how to be mentally prepared in the future for a similar issue. Stephanie wants to share with all future High School twirlers so have a game plan in the event of a costume malfunction. "If your shoe comes off during a performance, take the time to fix it. And do so with grace, poise, and act like it was supposed to happen. Also don’t let drops get to you on the field. The crowd doesn’t know your routine, so handle them with performance quality and don’t stress." Wonderful advice!

We want to thank Stephanie so much for sharing her experiences with us and being this week's Friday Night Lights Feature. We wish her another great year representing the black and red. Go Chargers

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 with their name and email address so that we can reach out to them!

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