Competitive cheer flies high

Preston Zbroszczyk, Sports Editor

Girls’ competitive cheer started its season with high determination and a dedication to strive and compete. Winter cheer is different from the football season with statewide competitions that require focus and commitment.

“This team has a whole new level of motivation and drive, which plays into the success of their performance,” head coach Amanda Viece said. “They have their goals set and spend every practice pushing themselves and holding each other accountable to be able to reach their goals.”

Some of the ladies prefer to cheer baseline for the basketball games.

“It is my favorite cheer season out of the two,” senior Nia Salcedo said. “We aren’t outside freezing, and the environment of the gym during the games is so fun and exciting.”

This season’s success started with the  leadership examples from the veteran members.

“This senior class has the best group of seniors this program has had in my experience,” Viece said. “Each individual is a strong leader and brings so many positive qualities to the team.  Their communication with myself and the team help makes it so much easier as a coach because they know my standards and are able to model that for the rest of the team.”

Last season the girls placed fourth in what was a step forward for the future of the program.

“I was so proud of all of us last season,” senior Mackenzie Schlanser said.  “It was a special group that I will never forget.  Now, as seniors, we need to lead by example and make that final push in order to place first.”

The girls took on their first competition of the season at the Andrew Invite on Dec. 15 earning second place.

Although the Tigers looked to aim high, there are areas of improvement that were their focus and will continue next season.

“Specific goals to reach state include working to perfect our level 4 stunts and clean our routine and to keep the positive relationship as a team,” Viece said.

With a busy schedule of competitions, the girls addressed the important details of what will make them better for a state run.

“With our strong leadership and knowing what we need to get better at, we will fix those minor mistakes,” senior Kristin Blazacyk said.

The girls headed into conference on Jan. 13 at Plainfield South High School.

“As seniors and seeing the past seniors we know what is at stake for North itself but for the bragging right to the other school,” Schlanser said.

The girls took second in conference this season falling to Plainfield South.

Varsity took 10th out of the 17 large varsity teams at sectionals on Jan. 26 at Edwardsville High School.

“We were given a very difficult sectional with many teams that consistently make state and top 10,” Schlanser said. “So, we had to try our best with the resources we were given. [We] ended up not making state,but I think that we made many improvements over the season.”

This sentiment was echoed by Viece.

“I am so proud of our girls,” Viece said. “They did everything we told them to do, [and] they worked hard and accomplished a lot.”