Cheerleading snags 10th-place finish at State


The Elk Grove High School co-ed cheerleading team marches down the English hallway during the team’s state send-off. Photo by adviser Kevin Modelski

Hailey Gray, Sectional Editor

Going into the 2020-2021 competitive cheer season, team members weren’t fully sure what to expect when it came to competitions.

With many guidelines being adjusted or introduced as the year went on, many sports weren’t even positive they would have a season. The Elk Grove High School co-ed cheerleading team, however, did end up having the opportunity to compete and nab a 10th-place showing at the IHSA state competition in March.

Unlike previous seasons, cheer competitions were almost completely virtual this year. Along with this, there was also a guideline that allowed for no stunting or close contact throughout competition routines. These new changes clearly impacted what the team had done previously. 

“This season was very different,” senior cheerleader Chris Martinez said. “Most of our competitions were virtual, and we had little to no crowd cheering us on. The hardest part about adapting to these changes was probably not being able to compete with a full crowd. The experience of it is just unexplainable.”

During competitions, cheerleaders rely on crowd interaction, which is what made the crowd-less environment difficult to do.

“Most athletes thrive being able to compete in front of an audience, so it was difficult to navigate ways to make our routine recording days as ‘normal’ as possible,” head cheerleading coach Shannon Evans said.

However, these changes definitely did not stop the EG cheer team from succeeding. After qualifying for state, the cheerleading team scored a 92.24/100.00, enough for 10th place. 

“Our state performance was the best performance we had done all season,” Evans said. “We had no deductions and we had our best overall execution. It was the hands down our best routine to end our season with.”

The season was very unpredictable and full of some unknowns, but just being able to have a season in general was enough to push the team.

Going into the season, Evans said her goal for her squad was to make the best of the season they were fortunate and thankful to have.

“We were very lucky to have been given the opportunity to have a complete season, including a State series and I wanted to make sure we made the most out of every practice and competition we had together,” Evans said.

Although the 2020-2021 cheer season was very unique to any prior years, EG cheerleaders said they still feel very proud of the amazing work and dedication put into their sport. 

“It feels amazing. All of our hard work and dedication really paid off with this unpredictable season,” Martinez said.