Cheerleading Season

Matthew Dombroski, Staff Reporter

With cheer competition season approaching quickly, the Shepard cheer team is preparing for a new and dominant year. With Shepard Cheer coming in eighth in the state last year and making history for this school, the expectations are high.
Senior captain Marissa Sokolowski expects to push the team harder than last year and use their determination to gain better results than their previous competition seasons.
This year the team lost excellent cheerleaders who moved onto college, but the girls are still determined to surpass last year’s team. This year’s seniors are leaders and push the team because they know it is the last year and they want to make it count.
Senior cheerleader Jenny Hernandez has the most potential to go to college for cheer, according to several of her teammates. She plans to attend Indiana University, and believes she fits in with Indiana’s very talented cheer team.
Sokolowski explained what a typical preparation for a competition looks like. “ We do a full practice the day before, going through our whole routine making sure we don’t have flaws. The morning of, we all go to one house and get ready as a team,” she said.
The cheer team sees themselves as a public figures at Shepard. “We see ourselves as one of the most successful teams in Shepard and many football and basketball players appreciate our support at their games,” said senior Hernandez.
As the years pass, the competition has become more challenging, but the senior cheerleaders say that their team has improved tremendously since they were freshmen.
“The skills that few could perform four years ago are now common skills to see during our competition,” said  Sokolowski.
The competition levels are improving so the cheer team goals are set even higher. Their goal is always to make it to state but now to win conference. Lately for cheer and even for any sport conference is getting harder to win since the competition level is higher.
The team came in second in conference the last two years, but felt that they had the potential to win conference those two years.

This year they are working harder to win conference and focus on state.
Sokolowski believes with every great team there is a weakness. Even though the team’s outlook looks positive, they have some obstacles to overcome. The cheer team’s weakness is their communication. They have few new girls on the team who are skillful but are still trying to learn how to bond with the team.
She sees the cheer team’s strength as being their tumbling. They believe it is one of the best in the conference.
“ Our tumbling sequence is one of the most entertaining parts of our routine and our stunting has high difficulty this year which will help our team out with our scores,” said senior cheerleader Marissa Sokolowski.
Overall we hope to see the cheer team excel in state again and keep improving throughout the years.
Last year’s team was great, but this year’s team has a lot of potential to surpass last year’s if they create a good team chemistry.