Cheer takes 17th in State


courtesy of Layla Jessie

The SHS Cheer team celebrates their first place finish at Rolling Meadows High School

Abigail Thomas, Editor-in-Chief

While navigating the uncertain times, the Saxons cheer team wrapped up the competition season, ultimately finishing 17th at the IHSA state competition. 

Having placed 1st at Rolling Meadows, 2nd at Niles West, 2nd at Sectionals, and winning the MSL conference championship, the Saxons entered the state competition with high hopes. 

“Our team was successful this season due to our abilities to set goals and achieve them as a team,” senior Layla Jessie said. “Our accountability for ourselves, our teammates, and our coaches allowed us to work hard and reach our goals.” 

With seven All-Conference cheerleaders (Ameera Common, Mia Cunha, Franchesca Unterrenier, Carissa Calip, Kayla Campbell, Layla Jessie, and Selena Johnson) the squad had to relearn skills like stunting since in 2020, stunting was not permitted. 

“The athletes had to push through to regain skills that had not been utilized for an entire year,” stated coach Natalie Belcaster.

This season was not without struggles, however. The SHS cheer team had to readjust to new guidelines and restrictions.

“The biggest obstacle this season,” Mrs. Belcaster noted, “was the adversity the athletes faced due to Covid-19.” They had the mindset that any practice could be their last and because of that, put their all into every single one. 

“With the return of stunting, we had to drill those skills over the summer, so when football season and homecoming came around we were ready for our routines,” stated senior Salina Johnson.” Returning to ‘normal’ was our biggest challenge. It happened faster than I thought it would, and it made us realize the amount of work it takes to improve.”

Despite the challenges, the team was consistent with practice, working on details, and producing clean routines while having fun. 

Not only did they have a successful season, but they also created a culture that represents what it means to be a Schaumburg cheerleader. 

As Mrs. Belcaster expressed, “if you buy into the SHS cheer program, you will not only be a part of a family, but you will have a memorable experience.”


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