Ted and Conni Morris have a colorful life. They wear purple and white when they go to Manhattan and black and yellow in Wichita.
It doesn’t matter how the teams do. The Morrises are there to watch their daughters, Sydney and Halle, on the schools’ cheerleading squads.
The 20-year-old fraternal twins have been cheerleaders since grade school, but this year is the first time they’ve cheered apart.
“It was different. I was just always used to having her there,” Sydney said about the first time she cheered without Halle. During childhood: “We never really had the option to get away from each other.”
Cheerleading, you could say, literally runs — or jumps or kicks — in the Morris family.
At Hutchinson High School, Sydney and Halle’s oldest sister, Ashleigh Vieyra, coached the cheerleaders. She still coaches at HHS. The twins graduated in 2015 and went on to cheer at Hutchinson Community College.
Conni was a cheerleader at Fairfield High School. Vieyra followed in her mother’s footsteps as a cheerleader; so did the second-oldest daughter, Lauren Galyon.
Ted really didn’t have a choice but to join them. He opened Hutchinson Gymnastics Academy nearly nine years ago. As business grew, he added Midwest Express Cheer to the location at 5 S. Adams Street.
Ted said he began to take an interest in cheerleading and gymnastics while Galyon competed.
The sisters like to jibe each other.
Sydney still remembers when Halle held a sign upside down. Halle figured it out quickly and refused to pick up the Dragons’ sign the rest of the game.
“That was mortifying,” Halle said.
Sydney is the carefree one, and Halle, the worrier. The constant togetherness growing up led to some memorable cheerleading moments.
“Every time she would get mad at me she said she would drop me and I would cry,” Halle said.
Sydney knew public embarrassment was a hot button for Halle. But Halle also knew how to get back at her one-minute older…