The Cheer Life: Light it up!

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The Cheer Life: Light it up!

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Contrary to the popular belief, cheerleading is not just a bunch of girls standing on sidelines, shaking their pom poms and jumping around.

Niles North cheerleading has continued to thrive and prosper throughout the years. With the title of three time Central Suburban League (CSL) conference champs and eighth in state, the team sure has a legacy to carry on.

This team is one of the hardest working teams here at our school.

“As the varsity coaches, we are currently working hard to create the toughest competitive routine that our varsity athletes will be able to execute for our competitive season! Our winter practices are mainly devoted to practicing new stunt sequences that may be incorporated into our routine,” Head Coach Aleka Landon says. “The overall focus for this year’s varsity routine is intense energy throughout our performances.”

This year, the varsity cheerleading team consists of 24 members, four of which are seniors.

Imagine going through a grueling 8 hours of school, going to practice for 2 and a half hours, and during practice, getting kicked, scratched, punched, elbowed, etc. This is what a cheerleader has to endure.

“The varsity practices are often loud and energy driven. We believe in pushing our athletes to work at their personal best at each practice so they are able to peak at the end of their season. We as their coaches have one goal in mind and we are on our way there,” Landon says.

However, it’s practices like these that lead teams to greatness and beyond. It’s the exhausting, long practices, the bruises and pains, and the injuries that make us phenomenal.

“You have to remember that although things seem impossible, you need to be aggressive and kill your fears,” Yarden Yitzhak, freshman, says.

This year, the team’s motto is to “Light it up!”

What does this mean, you ask?

It means that whenever you’re on the mat, you put on the performance of a lifetime. Practice like you’re in second place, perform like you’re in first. Bring energy onto the mat that will bring the team up.

“This team gives me drive and motivation to push myself and be better. From the beginning of the summer practices to now, we all as a team have all grown not only skill wise but as a family. Our competitive season is going to be great and we are all so pumped and ready to compete,” Max Davito, sophomore, says.

With competitive season starting on October 26, the team has been working hard and diligently to get podium (top 3 in the state) this year. The team believes that they are worthy and skilled enough to make it. With the coaches pushing the team to their highest point, they know that they will go far this season, and leave their mark in IHSA Cheerleading.

“When we think about this year’s team, we think they have what it takes, but it’s going to take everything they got. In the time that Coach Landon and I have taken over this program, we have focused on building discipline, dedication, passion, and inspiration into our athletes. Winning isn’t everything, but striving towards a common goal and working hard every day in and day out is what it takes to be successful,” Assistant Varsity Coach Natalie Hoss says.

So, cheerleading is actually not a bunch of “popular” teenage girls shaking their pom poms and jumping around, cheerleading is an unpredictable, intriguing, high flying sport.

The vikings’ first competition is on December 18th at Belvidere North High School.

More information will come as the season progresses.