Firing up for competitive cheer

Jessie Perry ‘15

Sports Editor

LCN’s Cheer team performs during a competition in the 2013-14 season.  Photo by Sieloff Studio

LCN’s Cheer team performs during a competition in the 2013-14 season.
Photo by Sieloff Studio

“Ready, ready go!” Are the words shouted when a high school cheer team is about to perform.

This season’s LCN Competitive Cheerleading Team gets ready to take the blue mats once again in the MAC White. They are fighting for another MAC title, as they took first in the MAC Blue in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons and first in the MAC White during the 2012-2013 season. Last year they fell short and received second place in the MAC White. If all goes well this year, they hope to steal back their first place title. The cheer team is also fighting to make it to regionals and possibly to states.

Many girls prepare for what the season has in store. With a new varsity coach Bianca Sokolnicki- an LCN alumni who won a state title in competitive cheer in 2006- the team is determined to grab hold of multiple wins and achieve great things.

Sokolnicki talked about how the cheer team should do this year.

“If the team has the same determination and work ethic like they did during football season, then they will be successful,” Sokolnicki said.

Joanna Taylor ‘17 also talked about how the upcoming competitive cheer season will go.

“I think it will go pretty well. I think we will win our MAC White this year and make it past districts because we are awesome at stunting,” said Taylor.

Smiling and making exciting facials, and perfecting every stunt and tumbling pass in their routine, all while yelling cheers as loudly and deeply as they can, definitely has their nerves going haywire, but the Lady Crusaders are ready for the competition.

Brianna Martino ‘18 said, “I think with a great attitude and a great coach, we will be able to make it past districts this year.”

Cali Hubbard ‘15 also believes that making it past districts is very likely.

“I think we will make it past districts because we have worked a lot harder at stunting and tumbling, and we will have team tucks in round two,” said Hubbard.

A back tuck is a standing back flip, so team tucks are back flips that are competed in round two as a whole.

Compared to last year, the cheer team knows that this season will be far better. Going from two seniors last year to having seven this year helps since there are more experienced girls on the team.

Taylor Lombardo ‘15 said, “We will be better than last year’s team because we are more dedicated and our coach is more knowledgeable,”

Hubbard also said, “I think we are going to do a lot better than last year because we have a lot more seniors, which are the leaders on the team.”

In competitive cheerleading, there are three different rounds in which each team competes. The first round consists of jumps, facials, and tight motions. The second round shows each team’s skills as a whole such as back tucks, back handsprings, back walkovers, heel stretches, jumps and more. The third round, which is the most exciting to many fans, consists of stunting and tumbling. All three rounds contain different cheers that need to be recited with proper tone and volume to receive the most points.

Coach Sokolnicki discussed her favorite rounds.

“All three rounds I enjoy for different reasons. For round one, I love how it gets the crowd involved. For round two, I like how it shows the athleticism in cheer because it shows how hard it is to do skills exactly the same, and for round three, just stunting and tumbling in general is fun and very cool to watch,” said Sokolnicki.

The LCN Cheer Team has set many goals for themselves as individuals, and as a team.

Samantha Sievers ‘16 said, “The goals set for myself would be to push myself to get better, and to learn to make adjustments. A team goal would have to be to get team tucks in round two.”

Martino said, “My self-goal would be to stick my back tuck at every competition and a team goal would be to go to regionals.”

Shelby Koski ‘16 said, “My goal would be to get my standing back tuck and become stronger at stunting. Team goals would be to go to regionals, work together and not give up on each other, and also team tucks.”

Taylor said, “My goal is to land my standing back tuck consistently and a goal for the team is to reclaim our MAC White title.”

Coach Sokolnicki also had a few goals in mind for her varsity team.

“Physically, I would like the girls to compete with team tucks in round two, but overall I would like for us to go to regionals,” Sokolnicki said.

During the sideline season of cheer, the girls prepare for competitive season by getting in shape. They have trained coaches who come in and spot their tumbling once a week. They also take tumbling classes during the competitive cheer season to keep their tumbling strong and to perfect skills. These classes are also beneficial because the girls can obtain more difficult tumbling passes, which could receive more points when competing in rounds two and three.

Lombardo said, “Most people have been working hard to advance their tumbling skills and stunting, which will be better since we conditioned a lot over the summer.”