The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

Cheer Wins ICCA Championship, Goes Back-to-Back

Corinna Winkler
The cheer team perfroms a stunt a Dec. 17 cheer competition.

The cheer team won the Illinois Cheer Coaches Association Championship in Springfield last Saturday with their highest scoring routine of the season. 

The win makes the Tigers back-to-back champions of the competition and earns Edwardsville their seventh title in 17 years.

For junior backspot Quinn David, the win was a result of tireless work in the past week’s practice, and that effort translated directly to success on the mat.

“Throughout the week everyone was trying their hardest in practice to keep positive vibes and cheer each other on throughout the routine,” David said. “Taking the same idea in the competition makes the routine so much easier.”

The confidence from successful practices translates to successful competitions, according to senior base Maia Rowe. 

“We went into ICCA with a lot of confidence and assurance in ourselves and our skills,” Rowe said. “The build-up of good practices definitely helps our confidence at competitions.”

The routine featured a new stunt, a round-off up. The acrobatic move, which features an inversion into an extension, is the routine’s second inversion stunt and ties into its theme, which is centered around famous pop singer Michael Jackson. The routine also includes a moonwalk.

David said that the new stunt’s success added to the overall energy of the team, which made the competition one of their best.

“While it is a difficult skill, we have excellent cheerleaders on the team that make the stunt look easy,” senior backspot Kayla Zacheis said. “The degree of difficulty is the highest you can reach.”

David said keeping positive attitudes towards feedback from the competition’s judges translates to better routines.

“There’s always a little bit of everything,” David said about the judges’ feedback. “There’s always compliments and talk about the good things we did … but they do give constructive criticism to help us improve.”

Coaches Anna Schutzenhofer and Zach Mittman put that constructive criticism into practice.

“The coaches have been giving very good corrections,” David said. “Everyone on the team has been trying to carry those throughout everything we do, and it has brought our routine [to] a new level.”

According to Zacheis, beyond corrections, the coaches are encouraging and supportive, which improves the team’s routine.

“Even when we have bad days, they find ways to motivate us to make it better,” Zacheis said.

The win came in a 10-team field, which featured traditional Southwestern Conference rivals in Belleville West and Collinsville, while also pitting the Tigers against schools like Rockford, Guilford and West Chicago. 

The team has four more competitions this season. They will compete Saturday at Lockport and Sunday at Oak Forest. The conference tournament will be held in East St. Louis Jan. 20, and sectionals will be held in Knoxville, Illinois on Jan. 27.

A top-five finish at sectionals will send the team to state, where Edwardsville placed sixth in their class last year.

“I feel very confident in our ability to perform in the future,” Zacheis said. “ICCA was our best performance so far this year, but … there is still room for improvement. Which I am confident we will achieve.”

About the Contributor
Zach Kennett, Sports Editor
Zach Kennett is a first-time journalism student and first-time member of the Claw. He currently serves as the co-editor-in-chief of The Tiger, which is the school’s yearbook. He formerly served as the managing editor. He has also won two sectional titles in scholastic journalism, with one being in news writing and the other being in sports writing. Zach enjoys spending his (dwindling) free time with his dogs, playing video games, cooking or driving his truck, Hank. Being a member of the Claw is important to him in that he was previously mentored by former Claw members and looks forward to leaving his mark on the publication.