Cheer team to compete at State Finals

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Cheer team to compete at State Finals

Hamid Ahmadi

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This past Saturday, the Niles North Varsity Coed Cheerleading team qualified to compete at the IHSA Cheerleading State Finals. The team will be traveling down to Bloomington, IL to perform at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum.

This is the teams third consecutive year qualifying for the state finals. In 2014, they got 22nd in the state, and finished in 8th place last year. This year, the team is hoping to finish the season strong and beat their standings from years past. Besides qualifying the past two years, Niles North Cheerleading has qualified for the state finals in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

“Since it’s my first year on cheer, I’m very excited and also so grateful to be a part of something so big. I honestly don’t even see these people as a team, I see them as family. And to be able to be a part of this journey.. it means so much, it’s just a reward for all the hard work we’ve put in this season,” says Autumn Woody, sophomore.

This year, the routine is extremely special. It’s filled with high flying baskets, fierce stunts, and some high energy tumbling.

“This will be my second year qualifying for state and words cannot describe how excited I am to just give it my all this weekend. We all see big things at the end of our season, and now’s our time to make it happen. This means not only physically preparing ourselves, but mentally, because State is a completely different atmosphere than all other competitions,” says Alan Lipkin, junior.

This is right. The IHSA Cheerleading State Finals is not your ordinary cheerleading competition. For one, only the top 25 teams in each division, (Small, Medium, Large and Coed), get to perform, when you’re performing, all you see is lights, and it’s such a big environment, and the nearest people are what seams to be like a mile away from you.

The team has done so much preparing the last eight months, and they are so hungry because they know that they can be the team. Their motto this year has been “Light It Up!” which is exactly what they wish to do this weekend. They’ve gone through an intense journey together and to see the season comes to an end hurts them all.

“Even though we’ve made it to state, it’s not our end goal. Making it better than what we did last year when we got 8th, is our finish line. That’s when we get to say that our hard work, blood, sweat and tears finally paid off,” says Ariahn Hunt, senior captain.

However, the team is more than ready for what’s to come this weekend and they need your support! Head on out to Bloomington, IL and cheer on your viking cheerleaders as they hope to bring home some shiny medal.

“Being on varsity, I can say that I can finally get to experience THAT feeling that our coaches and veteran cheerleaders/alumni always talk about. I am so proud of how far my team has come and I can’t wait to cheer the loudest I have ever cheered at state (for my teammates) and prove that we can and deserve to be up there,” says Sam Figueroa, sophomore.

Good luck this weekend, vikings!