Competitive Cheer

The Competitive Cheer season has already begun, competing in competitions with both old and new faces.  The girls are excited to be a part of yet another season, and hope to exceed their goals. 

“Being a part of this program has taught me to be determined and made me realize how if I want something, I’m going to have to work really hard in order to achieve it,” junior Claire Garris said.

Once the period of tryouts is over, the team gets to finally come together and put the rest of the season into perspective.

“At the beginning of the season, we had a sort of rough start with the fact of losing last year’s seniors. Since then, however, we’ve began to settle in and bounce back from those losses to turn them into motivations,” junior Madison McGinnis said.

Every year is a new beginning, with new people. Those with experience from the previous year begin to step up as new additions are added to the equation.

“One of our biggest additions to the team is Maddox. He is amazing and I’m so excited to see him compete this year, he’s been nothing but the best teammate and friend that I could ask for,” junior Madison McGinnis said.

Time goes by quicker than we think, however, and leaves the cheerleaders little time to prepare as best as they can.

“Everyday is a constant grind of the routine, the mentality, working the routine front-to-back in pieces, and putting the pieces together. At the same time, what a lot of people don’t realize is, not only are we working routine prep, but we have to work game prep. So, these kids have a lot that they have to manage on a daily basis as far as memory and technical aspects of the sport. It’s really hard because you’re preparing for multiple things at one time,” varsity competitive cheer coach Sally Stephens said.

With a lot to come in the future, having goals gives the cheerleaders motivation and determination to do their best.

“My personal goal is to get more consistent and advanced in my tumbling. As for the team, I hope we continue perfecting our routine and stunts and also strengthening our bond and connection as a family,” senior Riley Terveer said.

By recalling on past seasons, the competitive cheerleaders are able to perfect and change details that are key for their success.

“Our main focus will probably be facials. In competition, it’s really important to not only put on a great performance, but also to tie emotions to each and every move,” juinor Claire Garris said.

This upcoming season will be Coach Stephen’s second returning year since her departure in 2005. And in less than two seasons, she has already managed to have an impact on the team.

“I absolutely love my coach. Stephens is amazing in every way and is one of the best motivators in my life. I used to be super shy and impatient with myself and she was able to help me through a lot of stuff both competitively and personally,” senior Riley Terveer said.

Along with a mix of adrenaline, sweat, and tears, every year brings a new outcome with an even greater attitude for the competitive cheerleaders at Belleville West.

“I always get so excited for competitions, because you work so many months and hours to then be able to see them put into motion. There’s no greater feeling than to see how hard they’ve come to produce something and for it to end up being successful and for them to come off feeling good about it. So, I think that that’s probably the biggest thing that I look forward to is to see them elated with the things that they’ve done and were able to accomplish throughout the year,” varsity competitive cheer coach Sally Stephens said.