High-flying Cheer Team Earns 10th in State

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Mrs. Stilling

Saxon Cheer performs at the IHSA State Finals where they placed 10th.

Scribe Staff

Saturday February 4, 2023 the Schaumburg Saxon finished in tenth place at the IHSA Competitive Cheerleading State competition at the Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington, IL.  The squad advanced to the finals after making the cut following Friday evening’s preliminary round, but the seeds for success were sowed long before that winter evening.  

When Coach Belcaster watched her cheer squad run off the floor at this year’s Homecoming assembly, she realized that this season could be unlike any in Schaumburg High School history. At that point, so early in the school year, Belcaster already knew that the team could handle the skills necessary to succeed at the state competition. 

And so the Saxon Cheer squad completed the first vital step towards a Championship by qualifying for the State Competition, just as Coach Belcaster expected them months ago, earning them a raucous Saxon Send-off on Friday ahead of their contest.

After months of grueling training, with camps beginning in July, and numerous competitions, the Saxons built on their third consecutive MSL Championship by ending their season with a school-best 10th place state finish scoring 86.87 in their final routine. At the end of the first day of the competition, the Saxons stood in 10th place with a score of 90.67. 

Prior to the state competition, the Saxons placed 2nd (94.10) in the IHSA State Sectional behind Sandburg High School (95.73), who took 4th place at State Finals. The team was poised for success, but they knew that they would be facing tough competition.  It would take a great deal of team focus and commitment to continue their winning ways on such a big stage.  

Coach Belcaster believes that the key to the team’s success was their ability to overcome adversity and rise above the challenges that the grueling season presented.  Considering that the Cheer season began months ago, the team has had to keep grinding through adversity. 

“When challenges hit, we paused and assessed what our goals were and how to go about reaching them,” Belcaster stated.  “We constantly asked, ‘do we have a Day 2 mentality today?’ If the answer was no, we pushed to be better.” 

One of the keys to the team’s success was their ability to have fun in the midst of stiff competition.  Before each competition, the team would handle the pressure by strutting their best dance moves.  The impromptu dance party quickly became a fixture that they used throughout the season, and it seems to have worked, keeping the team positive and energized.  

“These moments made every victory even more special,” Belcaster added. 

The Saxons previously finished 17th in state in 2022. With a strong foundation and a growing tradition of success, the Saxons will look to improve on their 10th place finish next season and in the years to come. 

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