With competition season underway, the cheer team will hit the mats with a co-ed challenge at Belvidere North on Dec. 16 and a competition at Rolling Meadows on Dec. 17.
After taking second place in conference last year, they are hoping to eclipse their success and bring home a conference trophy in January. This season, a main goal for the cheer team is to qualify for the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) state championship in February.
The choreography this year involves a multitude of challenging elements, mainly regarding tumbling but also with stunting. As the season progresses, the stunts become more difficult and more complex. During the football season, the cheer team enjoyed performing during the games, as well as at school assemblies, and encouraging and hyping up both the crowd and the football team. “Cheering during football season was so much fun. There were a lot of fans at all of the games and being able to cheer on the football players with them and the energy that they brought was amazing!” senior Kayla Reeves said.
The cheer team’s favorite moments so far revolved around homecoming. Junior Sara Engel said the team enjoyed the rush of performing on the mat for the entire school during the assembly because of the energy from the crowd.
This applied to both the homecoming assembly during the school day and at the early morning pep rally when ABC News flew over the football stadium to take videos and photos of the students in the stands and the formations they made on the field. “Both assemblies were incredible and memorable experiences. The 5 a.m. assembly was on the news and everyone is always excited for homecoming,” Engel said.
Maine West will be facing the top 10 co-ed teams in Illinois this season, including Niles North, who is in the same conference as Maine West, as well as Palatine and Elk Grove. The friendly rivalry between Maine West and Maine East extends to the cheer teams as well.
On their road to state, they will have competitions at Buffalo Grove on Jan. 8, the CSL Conference on Jan. 12, Niles West on Jan. 15, and Huntley on Jan. 22.