York Varsity Cheer finishes a spirited season at the state tournament


Photo courtesy of Grace Maniola

The Cheer seniors put down their pom-poms for a final photo in uniform.

CeCe Lampa, Co Editor-in-Chief of TIY

Following a third-place finish at the sectional tournament, the York Varsity Cheer Team will compete in the IHSA State Tournament. However, due to a full team quarantine, the team will not re-film their video for the state competition and will use their sectional video. 

In a year filled with challenges, the cheer season was no exception. According to the National Federation of High School’s guidelines, competitors needed to redefine how stunting could function with COVID-19 rules. With the downscaling of stunts in the routine, teammates could focus a lot of attention on tumbling passes and skills. 

“Our routine has changed so much throughout this season,” senior Haley Brown said. “We made both big formation changes and small motion tweaks. Overall, our routine has come such a long way, and we upgraded a ton of skills, which was really exciting.”

With the online format, the season has also transformed; teams would typically travel throughout the state and compete at various high schools. However, the team could film as many takes of their routine as they wanted, leading to the perfection of each detail.

“Competitions being virtual meant that every detail mattered even more than usual,” senior Grace Maniola said. “Other teams weren’t going to send in routines with mistakes if they didn’t have to send them.”

Although the experience is anything but typical, the team felt the rush of the state series and the excitement of competing in the state tournament. However, the quarantine will prevent the team from practicing this week and refilming for the state competition. 

“The state competition is the goal our team works for all season,” junior Emma Brown said. “When we meet our goals, it feels like all of your work has paid off. This year, it would mean we get an extra week practicing with our team, which is all we could’ve hoped for with such a short season.”

 In a year filled with bittersweet, the journey for cheer competitors reflects 2020 and 2021 more than most sports. As the seniors close out their final York cheer experience, the underclassmen are simply grateful for their introduction to the varsity team and a competition season.

“Cheer influenced me to become a stronger person inside and out,” sophomore Rachel Schrage said. “It taught me how important teammates are and how much our love and connections play into our overall performance in the sport.”

The entire team takes a socially-distanced photo in the Green and White Gym. (Photo courtesy of Grace Maniola)