Cheer places 15 at IHSA state competition


Aidan Renteria

Metea Valley’s cheer team practice elegantly hard to be there best for state.

Grace Davidson, Sports Editor

The cheer team waited anxiously behind a drawn curtain waiting for the previous state competitors to finish their routine last Saturday. A heavy silence filled the air as the team took their last few moments to share words of affirmation and encouragement to one another before their most vital performance of the season. After one last team chant, the Mustangs walked on the stage to do what they do best: perform. 

The girls’ ended up placing 15 at state this season. Although they did not end up placing higher, the girls’ were up against tough competition as one of the 25 teams that qualified for state out of hundreds of coed teams throughout Illinois. 

“In the four years of my attendance on the team I have been to state four times,” senior team captain Paige Foxhall said. “This was one of our lower placings, but the teams that are consistently in the top 15 just continue to get better and better as the years progress. I have so much hope that when I come back as an alumni in years to come, that I will be able to watch this team make it into the top five.”

The team’s performance at state was incredibly successful. It was the Mustangs first no-deduction performance of the season. Deductions happen in all aspects of cheerleading whether that be a tumbling touch, a stunt fall, or lack of timing. The Mustangs were able to score a near perfect score for this competition. 

To achieve their near perfection performance, the entire team worked early mornings and late afternoons before and after school to prepare for their state meet. This year, the team had to struggle with having a group mostly composed of underclassmen. This proved challenging because many of the sophomores and freshmen had not been to state before and were still familiarizing themselves with the world of competitive cheer. Through intense practices the team was able to secure an understanding between the under and upperclassmen which massively improved the performance ability of the team. 

“It is funny because all season long the coaches would say ‘I hope it clicks’ referring to everyone finally understanding the importance of every practice, and after our conference championship, all they said was ‘It finally clicked,'” Foxhall said. 

To keep the strong team bonds and trust that it takes to perform these rigorous routines, such as themed practices and supporting each other through encouraging individual growth. The night before state the Mustangs went out to dinner which was a tradition that lifted spirits for their performance the next day. 

“I can not tell you how many people who have said they wanted to quit and come running back saying how much they miss it,” Foxhall said. “There is truly no other sport that will bond you like cheer will. Other people’s lives are in your hands, so that trust really bonds you.”

From winning conference to competing at state the cheer teams 2022 season proved to be extremely successful. Foxhall expects to cheer into college and hopefully return to meet the next generation of Metea cheer.