Cheerleading places sixth at IHSA Sectionals


Anushka Haldar

HANDS UP: Looking up, Titan bases suport senior flyers Suzy Whiting and Julia Park in a pyramid. The Titans’ competition season is now over; however, they will continue to cheer at the remainder of the home basketball games.

Hannah Mason, co-editor-in-chief

The Titan Cheerleading team placed sixth at the IHSA Sectional competition on Jan. 30. However, the girls were hoping to place in the top five and proceed to IHSA State for the first time. The 11 seniors are satisfied with the way they are ending their GBS cheerleading careers, according to senior captains Emily Weiss and Suzy Whiting.

According to Whiting, placing at sectionals has been close to impossible in years past, as the top five qualifiers are usually set in stone. Though they didn’t qualify, Weiss and Whiting agreed it was one of their best performances. According to Weiss and Whiting, performing the routine and hearing the results were both heavily emotional experiences.

“We hit everything, so it was [an] exhilarating [performance],” Whiting said. “With it being the seniors’ last competition, we were just leaving it all on the floor. I started crying after. When we found out the results a lot of us were a little upset, but we know we tried our best either way.”

The Titans have also had accomplishments this season such as placing first at the ICCA Qualifier invite on Dec. 19 and placing second at the CSL conference competition on Jan. 17. According to Whiting, Maine South and GBN were the team’s main competition. For Weiss, the CSL competition routine the team performed is one of her fondest memories from this season.

“All day, we were all so excited and right before we went on [a lot of us] were like, ‘This is our last conference,’” Weiss said. “We went through the routine and the entire crowd was cheering for us; we’ve never had a crowd so invested in our routine before. It was just such an amazing feeling. When we finished the routine, everyone was hugging each other. We’ve hit the routine before, but this, for some reason, was totally different and you could feel it.”

For both Weiss and Whiting, they attribute their team’s strong dynamic to having 11 seniors on the team. Though difficult at first to balance the roles between the three senior captains and the other eight seniors, said Weiss and Whiting, once they found that balance, everything seemed to click into place.

“Overall, especially now, we all are working together more to lead as a team as opposed to captain [versus] seniors,” Whiting said.

As this season comes to an end, the cheer program will say goodbye to Coach Stephanie Fuja, who was with the program for eight years, and continue with Jason Powell as the returning head coach.