Cheer team builds for the future


Roman Treuthart

The cheer team performed at the Green and Gold game on Nov. 17.

By Roman Treuthart, Sports Editor

The competitive cheer team kicks off their season hoping to build off of last year’s city championship victory. The team’s former coach, Barb Carabio, resigned after receiving an offer to coach at another school. Their new coach, Maureen Mackin, wants to not only focus on winning competitions, but also on creating a good team for the future.

“Winning is great but that’s not the ultimate goal,” Mackin said. “The ultimate goal is to have a strong team and build that team spirit and bond.”

The team, with only four senior members, is young compared to much of their competition. However, Mackin does not think this will affect their competitiveness.

“They have the talent to [repeat],” Mackin said. “I think they’re ready.”

When considering things to focus on at practice, Mackin said it is important to be versatile. Focusing on all aspects of the competition, which include tumbling, jumps, voice level and spirit, is key to the team’s success.

“Are we out just for winning or are we out to actually work together as a team and improve?” Mackin said. “I think that should be the main focus, not just winning.” Mackin said she wants members to execute everything to the best of their abilities.

“We are lucky this team has such a mix of everything,” Mackin said.

With four freshmen, two sophomores, ten juniors, and only four seniors, the future is bright. Young members, however, bring a unique challenge: skill development. Mackin said it is important for her cheerleaders to feel confident when competing.

“I won’t necessarily have them do super advanced skills if they’re not ready,” Mackin said. “I want them to execute it well and feel good and confident going out on the mat.”

To help the younger members get accustomed to varsity cheer, senior cheerleaders each have a ‘mini’ or freshman that they mentor. The mentoring process begins at the beginning of each year and is designed so freshman members have an upperclassmen to turn to for advice.

Captain Hannah Marker,Div. 863), is mentor to Alyssa Melendez, Div. 177.

“The goal of this is to ultimately grow a bond with the new generation of cheerleaders and guide them,” Marker said.

Marker, who grew up with Melendez, convinced her to try out for the team when she got into Lane.

Melendez said she appreciates the mentoring tradition because there is always an upperclassman the younger cheerleaders can rely on.

You will always have that one senior that you can go to for just about anything,” Melendez said. Having Hannah as my mentor is a lot of fun.”

The cheer team’s most recent competition was this past Sunday, Dec. 17 at Oswego East High School, and the team hopes to repeat their city championship title in January.