Cheer Team Is Enthusiastic About Successful Competition Season


Courtesy of Zach Kennet

Cheerleaders preform at a basketball game against O’Fallon on Dec. 7.

Pera Onal, Editor-in-Chief

The varsity cheer team is feeling motivated to place at state after their recent wins at the Lockport and Oak Forest Invitationals.

The varsity team placed first at the Lockport Invitational last weekend, while junior varsity took second. Varsity also placed first at the Oak Forest Invitational, and junior varsity placed third.

Junior and varsity cheerleader Maya Rowe said winning against state champion teams, like Lincoln Way East, Lincoln Way West, Carl Sandburg, Marist and Stevenson, was “one of the best moments” she’s had as an EHS cheerleader.

“In past years, we wouldn’t even think it was possible to go up North and beat the teams that we did,” Rowe said. “Winning this weekend really made me realize how lucky I am to be part of a team with such talented and amazing girls.”

Junior Julianne Hendricks, also on varsity, said the team’s end goal is to make the podium at the IHSA state competition in February.

“Beating these teams has given us confidence and has really showed us that we can be, and are, at the same caliber as other teams,” she said.

While the competition season starts in December, the team starts practicing in June. Sophomore and varsity cheerleader Quinn David said, when their technical season starts in October, practices start to get more serious and frequent.

In addition to practice, Hendricks said they have sleepovers and go out to dinner as a way of team bonding.

Rowe said the team is much closer than many other sports teams because of the faith and trust each teammate needs to have with each other.

“We see each other every day, all day,” Rowe said. “I don’t think we would be able to excel in competitions if we weren’t as close as a team.”

But even with their success and numerous wins, David still thinks cheer is overlooked, specifically because of the stereotypes associated with it.

“A lot of people just think of cheer as a sideline sport,” David said. “I really think if someone sat down and watched a couple of cheer routines or went to a competition, their perspective would change.”

Rowe said many people don’t even know that the cheer team has a competition season and appreciates when people acknowledge and understand that there is more to it than they might think.

“We work hard like every other sport,” she said. “We practice, and train, and it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears.”

Although the sport itself may be overlooked at EHS, David said the team doesn’t necessarily feel underappreciated, because the opinions of others don’t affect them and their performance.

“It just gets annoying when I want to tell people about how we won and all I hear is ‘cheer isn’t a sport,’” David said. “We win more things than the majority of the teams at our school.”