Varsity cheerleaders recollect childhood

Seniors Riley Mullgardt and Jennifer Egley attend the WGHS cheerleading mini camp as campers when they were children. Now, as Varsity cheerleaders, they help run the camp, which has a session during football season and a session during basketball season. Photos from Riley Mullgardt

Caroline Fellows

Jennifer Egley and Riley Mullgardt have been best friends for 16 years, ever since they started to dance together at Laurie Stream Dance Inc. at age two.

“Our parents knew each other in high school, and we started dancing together. Then we went to preschool together,” Mullgardt said.

Although Egley went to Hudson for elementary school and Mullgardt went to Central Christian School and Bristol, they still saw each other frequently, especially at dance.

“We did a duet together when we were little, like seven maybe. It was ‘Lion King’ and I was Simba, and she [Egley] was Nala, and it was the cutest thing,” Mullgardt said.

Outside of dance, Mullgardt would go to Egley’s house on Fridays, and Egley would go to Mullgardt’s house on Saturdays.

“We liked the same things and we watched the same movies and we had the same pajamas by accident. We were literally just the same person and it never really stopped,” Mullgardt said.

Several “weird” activities Egley and Mullgardt did together involved arts and crafts and letter writing.
“I have all these old letters she used to write me, but she couldn’t spell,” Mullgardt said about Egley. In these letters they wrote to each other, around second to third grade, Egley and Mullgardt congratulated each other for their achievements. One letter from Egley to Mullgardt reads, “Grat good in the caputishin and reysiydol, hop you do a good good nacst caputishin and rysitol. From yore frind.”

“The thing is, it wasn’t like we mailed them to each other,” Mullgardt said. “We would hand them to each other because we would see each other every night at dance.”

Egley and Mullgardt live near each other, which has made it easy for them to spend time together.

“We always lived really close to each other and so we used to buy walkie talkies that we thought maybe would stretch, but they never stretched,” Mullgardt said. “We bought like 10 things of walkie talkies and they never worked.”

Now as high schoolers, Egley and Mullgardt spend time at Egley’s house where Egley’s mom bakes for them, and they also frequent the pool in the summer.

Next year, Mullgardt will attend University of Alabama to study business and Egley will attend University of Kansas to study dance.

“You know we turned out okay, I think,” Mullgardt said.

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