Cheer team placed 13th overall at State


Photo courtesy of Tori Caliendo

The cheer team competed virtually in all of their competitions. They placed 13th in the State competition.


The cheer team placed 13th at State this year. Photo courtesy of Tori Caliendo.
Before the State competition, there was a drum line for the cheer team at school to help celebrate the team’s success of making it to the State competition. Photo courtesy of Tori Caliendo.







After several competitions, the cheer team made it to Sectionals and finished in fourth place. Then they competed in State and placed 13th.

Even though they had a successful season, the cheerleading team had a rough start to their regular cheer season, fearing that it might not happen. Thankfully, Illinois was able to move to tier 4 for sports and allowed cheerleading around the state to continue. With that being said, there have been several precautions taken by Grayslake North. These include staying six feet apart, wearing a mask and having it cover the nose, sanitizing hands before and after practice, as well as following IDPH COVID safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Practices have been a little different than in previous years due to requirements of social distancing and no contact.

“Practices are very different this year because we all have to be socially distanced and wear masks, and usually we stunt most of the practice, but this year stunting isn’t allowed because we’d be too close. So we usually spend most of the practice tumbling or practicing our competition routine,” said senior Erin Fiedler. 

“Practices are much slower-paced and more technical because we can’t stunt. We have to wear masks and stay six feet apart at all times, and we can’t go and help each other if one of us is down like we usually would,” said sophomore Natalie Babizar. 

These protocols do not stop our cheer team from doing their best at their competitions. On Feb 13, 2021,  the cheerleading team put on a show and competed against several schools. Out of those schools, they placed sixth.

 “Competitions have been held virtually this year. We submit our competition video to the inviting host who has officials set up to judge our routine. The invite host then streams all of the videos for us to watch and have an awards ceremony where they announce the top teams,” said varsity coach Jenny Garza.

Because practices and competitions are socially distanced, all the girls on the team value the time they spend together, and they value any memory they can make with each other.

 “My favorite memories so far would have to be our Senior Night celebration and the first time we recorded our routine and it all clicked. The team was talking on the mat and enjoying what they were doing. It made for a fun routine to watch, ” said Coach Garza. 

“My favorite memory was hitting zero at day two of State last year, which was an amazing feeling because all of our friends and family saw it happen and it felt like all of our hard work paid off. Also, when they announced that we got sixth in the whole state, that was one of my favorite memories too,” Fiedler said.

 Any little moment the girls get to spend with each other is valued, and they appreciate the time they spend with each other, which is why staying in sports is important.

“I think it is important to be involved with something in high school. Whether that means sports or something else, I don’t think it matters; just be involved in something. Sticking with a sport, club, or group helps develop a sense of belonging, of investment in your team/school, and a sense of purpose to be better and work harder. I think those are all great qualities to take with you long after high school is over,” said Coach Garza.  

Many of the athletes agree with the importance of sports.

 “It’s important to keep your body activated and you’re motivated and keeping the same team mindset,” Babizar said. 

Sports also bring friendships for life.

¨It’s super important to stay in sports because, for me, it’s a great way to have fun being active and make a lot of lifelong friends. The bonds you make with people through sports are unlike any other,¨ Fiedler said.