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Cheerleaders start season with first, third place wins at weekend competition

megan monoson, contributor

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The cheerleaders dominated the floor at last weekend’s cheer competition, officially kicking off the competition season. Varsity placed first out of three teams, and junior varsity placed fourth out of thirteen.

Ninety seven high school cheerleading teams competed at Lincoln-Way North High School throughout the day this past Saturday, December 13.

“I would consider it a good first competition because I think that it gave us a good reality check and we finally realized that we really need to start working a lot harder, especially seeing those really good teams that we usually compete against,” Megan Yerger, junior and three year varsity member, said. “It’s the little things that matter. I think even though we weren’t exactly happy, that could be a blessing instead of a curse because we know now what exactly we need to work on and that we do need to work harder.”

The two teams have been training since last March, bringing and adding a variety of skills and incoming freshmen to each team. Both junior varsity and varsity teams from LZ competed under the authority of Pam Bonnevier, who has coached Lake Zurich cheerleading for eight years.

“We’ve got all new flyers in the air except for one, a lot of people in new positions, and we want to get the jitters out in one of these early competitions that don’t matter,” Bonnevier said. “You’re really putting it out there to kind of get through that mess, and see how everybody comes out. Then you have a chance to regroup and reassess to figure out what changes you need to make to go in for the kill later.”

Haley Eder, a freshman on varsity and six year cheerleader, is in a new position as a back spot this year, while also working to get to know her team.

“It’s really overwhelming, and it’s really nerve-wrecking sometimes, but as soon as you get to know the coaches and the people on your team, you kind of get over that,” Haley Eder said.

Practicing most days of the week has allowed the girls to get to know each other personally and allow the girls to learn how to work well together to perform for the crowd and judges, Yerger said.

“For competition, the most important thing is to have passion,” Yerger said. “Make sure that you’re performing because it shouldn’t really matter at competitions if you fall because you should be able to pick it up with your enthusiasm and your body language and get the crowd excited.”

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Cheerleaders start season with first, third place wins at weekend competition