Welcome to our series, #WHYoming.
We are highlighting people from around our communities and asking them a few questions. We want to learn a little about them and see why they chose this great state to raise their families, start their businesses, or simply to ask — Why Wyoming?
For this week’s #WHYoming, I had a chance to talk with Allison Luna, Green River High School cheerleading coach. Allison came into the GRHS cheer program at a time where there was a high turn around of coaches, and she has given the program some stability while rebuilding back to success. Promoting strength and independence, she sees it as a great honor go be able to play a role in her athletes’ development to adulthood.
Allison is a GRHS graduate who was a captain on the Wolves cheer team, so she has a lot of hometown pride when coaching the squad. Leaving Wyoming briefly to attend Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Allison returned to Green River to settle down with her career and her now husband, Mario. Allison loves Wyoming and is very happy to be home in Sweetwater County.
Allison, what do you do for a living?
I am a Physical Therapist Assistant at Peak Performance Physical Therapy.
How did you get into your career?
I needed an internship for my Kinesiology degree while attending CMU. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, as far as a career, so I reached out to Hayley at Peak Performance to see if I could intern in Physical Therapy. I had the best experience getting to meet a lot of different individuals and working with them to help heal them was really rewarding. I love the challenges my days bring me, because honestly everyday is different.
You also coach cheer at Green River High School. How did you get into coaching?
I always knew I wanted to coach cheer since I was in High School. I actually was voted “most likely to make cheer a career” when I was a Sophomore. So fast forward to 2018 I was talking to someone about how I wanted to get involved in the cheer program and came to find out that they were going through coaching changes so I started as the assistant coach in November. That year I actually ended up taking the kids to state by myself so that’s when I knew I wanted to take over the program.
Can you outline your cheerleading experience?
My experience as far as cheer is that I did gymnastics for about 5 years prior to cheerleading, I cheered for GRHS for 3 years and was 3x All-State, 2x All-American, 1x Top All-American, a captain, 3x State Champion and we earned many other top state placements.
Coaching wise, I was the assistant coach during the 2018-2019 season and now going on my second year of head coaching. In that time we have placed at state in Co-Ed, All-Girl, and Game Day Division. I also got Head Coach of the Year from the Wyoming Spirit Coaches Association at State Cheer in 2020.
What has the experience of being a coach been like?
Honestly, I have enjoyed the challenge of rebuilding this program. When I came in there had been a lot coaches that had came through in such a short amount of time. So there was a lot of structural components missing, but I feel like it’s finally all coming together. Since I was a part of the GRHS Cheer program in high school I take a lot of pride in what I’m doing with this program now.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a coach?
That’s a hard one, because there are so many rewarding parts of coaching. One of my favorite parts is when I come up with new skill or stunt sequence and my kids are looking at me like I’m crazy; then watching them progress daily till they accomplish it. I love seeing them come together and achieve things they didn’t think they could. Also I love that I play a small roll in helping them grow into these wonderful young adults.
What is something unique about you?
I can actually still do some of my tumbling skills. And I’m terrified of balloons popping!
How did you end up in Green River?
Well honestly, I never thought I would come back here but I’m so glad my job and my husband brought me back here.
What do you appreciate most about our community?
I love how supportive we are! I see it a lot with cheerleading, people are always jumping in to support our team. Also just how most people here would drop anything to help a neighbor or friend.
What are some of your hobbies?
Umm… when I have time for those! I love being outside. I love to play golf, go to the lake, travel, or just explore the outdoors with my husband and puppy Moose. I love spending time with my dog.
If you could give one brief piece of advice, what would it be?
If you want something bad enough, you can have it with hard work.
Where are some of your favorite places to hang out in Sweetwater County?
Well I love going to the wine bar and local breweries. But my favorite place to be is probably sitting by the fire in my backyard.
Would you rather walk, take a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car?
Um, the safest option for me would be walking.
What would you sing at karaoke night?
Oh gosh, if you could convince me to do sing, it would probably be “Wanna Be” by the Spice Girls. That song has always just put me in a good mood.
Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
Oh that’s a hard one. Probably Mila Kunis because she is strong, powerful, and spunky!
What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
I would say my education. I got my bachelors degree in three and a half years and then did a fast paced hybrid program for my PTA degree. My dad always taught me how important it is to be a strong independent woman and I feel like my education empowers that.
Why do you choose to continue living in Wyoming?
There are seriously so many reasons, but a couple that first come to mind is being close to my family, my friends, and of course all the opportunities we have outdoors.