Varsity Cheer qualifies for State for the 2nd year in a row

Courtesy of cheer coach Kristen Vargas

Courtesy of cheer coach Kristen Vargas

Josie Janowicz, Staff Writer

The Varsity Cheer Team will compete at State this weekend after placing 3rd at Sectionals at Belvidere North High School.

After last year’s milestone of going to State was achieved for the first time in 20 years, the cheer team was determined to make it again. There are five different sectionals in the state of Illinois, with the top five teams from each sectional qualifying for state. 26 teams in total will meet in Bloomington for the competition this year. 

With just two seniors and one junior, most of the team is made up of underclassmen. Nevertheless, the amount of talent is remarkable. Varsity Cheer member Juliana Brunetti says that the team is doing “higher-level stunts and tumbling than ever.” 

The cheer team doing their pre-competition ritual. Courtesy of cheer coach Kristen Vargas

As a pre-competition ritual, the team stands in a circle, prays, and does a variety of different chants. No matter how their performance goes, they try to always get into a “leave it all on the mat” mindset to ensure that they know they tried their best after competing, and to leave all their frustrations in the past.

The team felt confident about their performance knowing they had practiced their routine cleanly many times in the weeks leading up to the competition. This year held some challenges as well as many successes for the team and they knew they were gonna try their best no matter what and be proud of themselves.

Going into the competition, they knew that there were two teams that were at a higher level, and five teams that were equal level to them. So, when the fifth and fourth-place teams were called out, the varsity team was sure that they didn’t qualify.

The team had a long day of competition, but made it to the finals and were anxiously awaiting the results to see if they qualified for state.

 “It could be a difference between decimal points,” Brunetti said. “I was crying because I thought we’d come in sixth.” 

When it was announced that Lake Forest High School came in 3rd, the team jumped up and down with immense joy. They were going to State. 

This Thursday between 5th and 7th period, the team will receive a proper send-off, as they get clapped out by students and staff before they leave for Bloomington. They will compete Friday in hopes of making it to finals on Saturday.