The Forest Hills Eastern Varsity Cheerleading team had their districts competition on Friday night. They beat their record high scores in both rounds two and three and came in eighth place out of thirteenth. Only the top four teams advance to the regional competition, so, unfortunately, this was the team’s last time hitting the mat. The team feels that they had a very successful season, even among the various injuries and sicknesses. Head coach Brittany Boomers said, “Our team was very young and almost all new to the sport at a varsity level this year. They were able to quickly catch on and improve every week. We had our fair share of challenges, but every time the team was able to rise to the occasion, adapt to the situation, and do what needed to be done. We started the season unsure if we were going to get all of our tuck and lib points, but the girls really stepped up and improved their skills to maximize the scoresheet. Our scores increased week after week, and I have been able to see this team grow mentally and physically since November!”
In cheerleading, there are three rounds. The first showcases the different motions and jumps. The second is all in unison and shows tumbling (or gymnastic skills). Finally, the third has various stunts and tumbling. Most cheerleaders can agree that performing the third round is both the most fun and the most tiring. “Round three is probably my favorite because stunting other girls is crazy fun and difficult but really rewarding when you can pull it off. Plus, we get to perform a round that we have been working really hard on all season. When everything hits the mat it’s supposed to; the feeling is indescribable.” Averi Scully (‘21).
This year, the team was one of the youngest in Eastern history. Out of the thirteen girls, six of them were freshmen, three were sophomores, three were juniors, and one was a senior. It was challenging for the team to make the change from having seven seniors last year to only one this year. Still, it was a fantastic experience to have so much new talent. “It wasn’t what I expected, but in a good way. I didn’t feel left out or looked down upon because I was younger. I still gelt as much a part of the team as everyone else and the upperclassmen. Everyone was really excepting, and we all had a lot of fun together.” Libby Bracken (‘23) “It was hard at first, getting used to the people and practices and everything, but it was one of the best experiences of my life.” Joeti Macfield (‘23). All of the freshmen agreed that cheer is lets you meet so many new people that you generally would never have talked to. “All of the freshmen are best friends, but we aren’t always together. We separate and love hanging out with the upperclassmen.” Lauren Ortega (‘23).
At a cheerleading competition, each team takes their turn at performing each round in front of a panel of three judges who give scores based on performance, general impression, the quality of the skills, and various other categories. Since each judge has their own definition of cheerleading perfection, judging can be entirely subjective. However, the deduction system is the same, and each judge is given a copy of the same scoring sheet.
Lydia Ewing was the lone senior on the team, and she is looking forward to attending Grand Valley State University next fall. She will be trying out for their stunt team and will be desperately missed by the team. “I think Lyd really showed our team what a team really means. She was always so positive towards everything and made the most of every moment we had together.” Halle Koelzer (‘23) “As the only senior, she was so strong with her responsibilities. She greatly impacted the team through her personality, she was always smiling and making everyone else smile, no matter what she was going through.” Sami Nowak (‘22) “We love Lyd so much, and we are going to miss her like crazy. She always brings a positive attitude to practice and never fails to try and keep everyone’s spirits up when things go wrong.” Averi Scully (‘21).