There are traditions in all families, some linked with holidays, some among the children. Such is a tradition in the Cambre family, daughters and granddaughters of the late Lester Sr. and Jacqueline “Jackie” Cambre.
This is the 50th anniversary since Belinda Cambre Constant who now serves as Gretna’s Mayor, was named Homecoming Queen of Archbishop Shaw High School 1973! She was a Shaw cheerleader for three years and a Cheer Captain. Yep, it was 50 years ago yesterday on Oct. 9, 1973 that she was queen, preceded by her serving as Sophomore and Junior Homecoming Maids.
“It’s hard for me to believe when I tried out for cheerleader so many years ago that it would become a family tradition. As a sophomore at Archbishop Blenk High School in 1971, I decided to try out for Shaw cheerleader and was so ecstatic when I heard my name called at tryouts to become a new member of the esteemed cheer squad,” Belinda Constant said.
“It was just two short years later when my sister, Wendy was to accomplish her dream and join the team with me. I’m sure she couldn’t have imagined the legacy that she started!”
Wendy Cambre (Bush) was a cheerleader for one year. There were rules in the selection of cheer squad. First, only five girls each from Blenk and Immaculata could participate on the cheer squad for Shaw. The girls had to serve at least one year on the dance team or pep squad to qualify. And then, only with a vacant spot from her respective school, could she try out for that year. Wendy patiently waited and finally became a cheerleader and served as Co-captain. She was voted in by the student body as Sophomore and Junior Homecoming Maids, the process still intact today.
Decades passed and Majken Bush, the daughter of Wendy and Rick Bush was a Shaw Cheerleader for two years. She was on the UCA National Runner Up Team, Cheer Treasurer and 2001 Senior Homecoming Maid
Maiken was an interim Cheer Coach and is currently Shaw Eaglette Dance Team Moderator.
Kailyn Bush (Blount), also the daughter of Wendy, was a cheerleader for four years, on the UCA National Championship Team, two-time UCA National Runner Up Team and Cheer Captain. She was 2004 Homecoming Maid of Honor. Kailyn was previously the Immaculate Conception Cheer Coach for nine years; many of her cheerleaders went on to cheer for Shaw on the National Game Day Championship Team.
Devyn Cambre, the daughter of Lester Jr. and April Cambre was a Shaw Cheerleader for three years, Cheer Treasurer, on the UCA National Championship Team and UCA National Runner Up Team.
More years passed in the Cambre family. Jaycie Punch, daughter of Majken and Dustin Punch, granddaughter of Wendy was Shaw Cheer Mascot for two years and Cheerleader for five years, Cheer Captain for two. She was on the Four-time UCA National Game Day Championship Teams, 8th Grade Homecoming Maid in 2015 and Junior Homecoming Maid in 2018.
Morgan Nolan, daughter of Brian and Cheri Nolan and granddaughter of Wendy was a Shaw Cheerleader for a year, on the UCA National Game Day Championship Team and 2019 8th Grade Homecoming Maid.
Laiken Punch, a second daughter of Majken is currently a Shaw Cheerleader and 2023 8th Grade Homecoming Maid.
“Tammy and I have been coaching the Cheer Team for 32 years. We have coached all of the Cambre family girls except Belinda and Wendy. Wendy’s two daughters and her three granddaughters were on the cheer squad through the years. We won the National Cheer Championship at Walt Disney World in 2000, 2003, 2011, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020. Devon, Kailyn, Jaycie and Morgan were all on National Championship Teams, but in different years,” Tommy Trahan, Shaw Cheer Coach said.
“Majken Bush (Punch) started off on the Eaglette Dance team, moved over to Cheerleader in her junior year and is currently the coach and choreographer for the Shaw Eaglettes. Time goes on.”
Time does go on. Fifty years later, young Laiken Punch, great niece of First Cheerleader and Homecoming Queen, Belinda Cambre (Constant) will be a Maid at the Archbishop Shaw Homecoming Game on Friday, Oct.13 against the Belle Chasse High Cardinals at 7 p.m. at the Joe Zimmerman Stadium on the Shaw Campus. To kick off the game celebration, a parade will process from Belinda Constant’s home on Huey P. Long Avenue in Gretna to the stadium with the Homecoming Court in convertibles, riding along with the Cheer Squad and Eaglette Dance Team beginning at 5 p.m.