Editor’s Note: Miranda Cook and Jaylene Garcia are a part of the Oswego Cheer team and are editors on staff but were not involved in this story’s writing, reporting, or editing.
On Jan. 28, the Oswego cheer team made history by winning the sectional title and qualifying to go to state. This competition took place at O’Fallon High School where 11 teams competed. OHS earned the highest score in the Oswego program history with 92.25 points.
Since the sideline cheer season, the team has had a steady season. Like any other team, they have had some ups and downs. “We had been making progress at practice that wasn’t always translating in some of the competitions… overall, we were having a pretty typical season,” Maggie Hill, special education teacher and one of the cheer coaches, said.
Most of OHS cheer seasons have been pretty typical and consistent in the past, up until this year.
“We had some bumps in the road in the middle of the season and then things picked back up,” senior Sarah Nolan said.
Despite these setbacks, the team did both physical and mental preparation for its sectional competition, including practicing every day and doing multiple full outs. Full outs are where a routine is performed in every aspect to its greatest ability. Mentally, they were prepared for any outcome but winning.
“We had some film reviews,” Hill said. “We added a couple of different components to the routine, and changed a few things.” Abby Vlna, a senior on varsity explains her thoughts leading up to the competition.
“I thought we were going to qualify for state. I didn’t think we were going to win. We all anticipated getting fourth or fifth,” Vlna said.
The team ended the competition with a first-place win. When the results were announced, the team was hit with a whirlwind of emotions.
“We were screaming, crying, falling on the floor,” Nolan said. “It was definitely one of my proudest moments ever.”
Coach Hill was also excited, not only for herself, but for her athletes.
“My reaction was just shock and complete excitement,” Hill said. “Especially [for] our seniors who have been in the program for all four years.”
As the team prepares to head to state, they are practicing every day, and once again mentally preparing by keeping a positive mindset.
“I think everybody’s goal is to just have fun. Our goal all season was to just make it to state. We never really thought about what happens after,” Vlna said.
After the sectional competition score, the team now holds the title of sixth in the state.
“Our skills haven’t changed much since sideline, but the bonds have grown,” Vlna said.
The Panther cheerleaders will be performing on Friday, Feb. 3 at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington, Illinois at 4:15 p.m.
Click here to watch the Panthers’ first-place sectional performance.
Hi! My name is Liliana Murillo, and I am a senior at OHS.This is my first year being a part of 42Fifty staff. In my free time, I like to hang out with my friends, watch reality T.V, and go shopping. If I am not at school, you will see me working at Riverside Pizza and Pub in Oswego. I am beyond excited to be a Sports Editor for 42Fifty this year!