Three Cheers for Ethan
Three Cheers for Ethan
Posted on 02/02/2023
Ethan joins the cheer team on the sidelines of a basketball game

Central Kitsap High’s cheer team’s welcome to an honorary teammate made for a special night for senior Ethan.

Since starting at CK High in October, Ethan has loved being a Cougar.

"What I love about being a Cougar is the people and the vibes!" he said.

As part of a preparation program for youth employment for students with special needs, Ethan helps with the school’s KUGR video broadcasts, doing announcements or shout-outs. Ethan uses a wheelchair and communicates with the aid of a tablet.

During a recent broadcast, the self-described very goofy, loving and fun student —“I'm a whole vibe!” — said he wanted to be part of the cheer team.

"I love cheering and dancing, and some of my friends are on it!" Ethan said of the team.

So, school and district staff worked together to contact cheer coach Delaney Bartlett.

“When I initially told the team about Ethan's situation and let them know that he would be cheering with us, they were very excited!” Bartlett said. “They knew of Ethan through his weekly tidbits on the CKHS broadcast, and they thought it was a great idea.”

And at Tuesday’s home boys’ basketball game, the team had a shirt and pom poms ready for Ethan.

Cheerleaders surround Ethan as they read a message he prepared for them on his tabletEthan met the cheer team outside the gym before the game. He played a prepared message for the team:

“I wanna thank y'all for letting me be on the team. It was so lit,” he said. “We will spend more together fasho (for sure)! I do karaoke on Wednesdays so pull up. I can’t wait to make more memories with y'all! Love y'all so much!”

Which resulted in a chorus of “aww”s and smiles from the cheer team.

As the game began, Ethan lined up with cheer team and boys’ basketball team members for the introduction of the starting players.

And for part of the first quarter, he joined the cheer team below the hoop as they led the crowd in pep chants.

“After cheering with Ethan, I think the girls just felt really excited and proud of him,” Bartlett said. “For some of the team, it was a very emotional moment to get to see him so excited and so involved in something that we do every day and realize that even those who have disabilities are still able to participate in an everyday event, such as a basketball game. “

Ethan practically danced in his chair with excitement during the game.

“It was the best,” he said. “My favorite part was all of it!”