Cheer Springs from Sectionals to State

Photo+by+Sophie+Kraus
Photo by Sophie Kraus

Photo by Sophie Kraus

Photo by Sophie Kraus

Kerrington Holland, Sports Editor

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Unlike the famous scenes from cheer classics such as “Bring It On” or any other cliché movie set in the stereotypical high school atmosphere, the EHS cheerleading team is all about winning as a loving and well-deserving team.

Over this past Saturday (Jan. 28), the cheer team left for Normal Community West High School at 10:30 a.m. to compete in sectionals against some of the toughest teams in Illinois.

“I was very excited and confident,” junior Paige Way said. “I think as a team, with the exception of some nerves, we were ready to represent the South and show everyone what we have worked so hard and so long for.”

And show them they did.

The team placed third within their sectional and was the only team from Southern Illinois chosen to proceed to IHSA State Championships, according to edglentoday.com.

“My favorite part was when my group hit our first stunt,” senior Jasmyn Kloster said. “We had been struggling all week at practice, so when we got out there and hit that first (stunt) I just knew it was going to be a good routine.”

With IHSA State Championships taking place this weekend (Feb.3- 4), the girls aren’t backing down or letting the pressures muddle their spirits. According to sophomore Tara Colligan, they have planned interactive “theme days” that only take place the week before sectionals and state. These unique practices allow the girls to dress up to a certain theme for practice and continue their fun spirited excitement throughout the season up until the end.

But the end is near, and it will be a challenge.

State is composed of two days that slowly dwindle down the competition to the best of the best.

“Day one” is made of the top 25 teams within the state from each of the four divisions (five teams from each sectional competition). Small, medium and large divisions are based on school sizes, but the coed division is comprised of all teams with two or more male team members. Then the top ten teams from “day one” continue to “day two” — the judgement day of the whole season.

An EHS team hasn’t made it to “day two” in since 2009, so being able to do so will be a great feat and Kloster thinks the Tigers have what it takes.

“(Day two) is where the best of the best are,” she said, “and we definitely deserve to be there.”

But as they practice their last touches on their routine and prepare to dominate at state, some feel the nostalgia kicking in as their season is coming to a close.

“The worst part (of sectionals) was probably awards,” Colligan said. “(I’m) glad we got third but sad because it’s just one more competition away from the end and losing our seniors.”

But as a senior, Kloster felt a different emotion about the season coming to a close.

“Friday might be the last time I get to compete as a Tiger so I’m glad I get to spend it with these wonderful gals,” she said, “but hopefully we make it all the way this year. I have faith in my team and in myself, so I’m excited.”

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