Joyful Jenna: Fairfield cheerleader inspires crowds

There's an Elkhart County cheerleader who sure knows how to rally a crowd. But it's Jenna Senger's joy that makes her a joy to root for.

"There wasn't a day that went by that she didn't talk about cheering here at Fairfield," Jenna's mom, Julie Senger, recalled.

Just by taking a look at Jenna, anyone can see how much the Fairfield High School student loves cheerleading.

"The kids really respond to her. And she feeds off that and they feed off her. It's amazing," Julie Senger said.

When Jenna, who has Down syndrome, was in eighth grade, her friend from kindergarten helped get Jenna on the cheer squad

"The girls loved her," Julie Senger said. "She loved cheering for her peers. Her peers loved her. So it was just a natural rollover when she became a freshman. I never would've thought. Never."

For Jenna, her and cheerleading are a match made in heaven

"Love my friends," Jenna said.

And it shows. Coupled with her enjoyment of dance, cheering is perfect for her.

For Jenna, it was important she rocked the blue.

"Jenna wanted to cheer for her school, for her friends, with her friends," Julie Senger said.

The Fairfield community is one big family.

"It's awesome to say that we are the Fairfield Falcons, and there's a lot of support for everybody. Everybody is kind of one tight-knit group of students," Principal Jason Grasty said.

It's that community that has helped Jenna shine

"Seeing her as a little girl and seeing how far she's come academically, how far she's come socially, just the amount of practice and recall to know your mark, be on where that is, is a lot," cheer coach Loretta Sholtey said. "Juggling a full course load with the school and then the extracurricular after, she's tackled it."

Her parents say Jenna can inspire others

"This is real important for a high school to have her on their team to show that the other girls can actually do that, too, or boys," said Jack Senger, Jenna's dad.

And Jenna's parents are just beaming with pride.

"If I had two words to describe her, it would be 'unbridled joy,'" Julie Senger said.

Cheering for the Falcons lets Jenna be her true self

"Jenna can be Jenna. She's a very happy young lady. She does a great job, just by being the kind and caring person that she is," Grasty said. "… That type of stuff is what's inspiring to me, a young lady who is able to just put herself out there and be who she is."

Just like everyone else on the team.

"She's a Falcon. True blue," Sholtey said.