Sequoits Are Telling Their Story

The varsity cheer team competed at the IHSA sectional competition and earned a spot in the IHSA state competition.


Jessica Nettgen

The varsity cheer team raises their hands in the air in triumph as their name was announced as one of the five teams to qualify for state

On January 26, the varsity cheer team competed at the IHSA sectional competition held at Grayslake North High School. The team competed for a chance to qualify for the two-day state competition, day one consisting of the preliminaries and day two being finals. The team is hoping to walk the podium once again as they did when they took third place at last year’s state championships.

“We know if we hit our routine we have a really good chance of winning state this year,” senior Rebecca Bargamian said. “Even if we don’t come out on top, we are hoping to come out on podium again this year.”

Going into their sectional performance, the team was hoping to capture a sectional title but knew the stakes were high as the tough competition was expected from the Rams of Grayslake Central.

As they began their performance, they made an early impact by executing a level four basket toss which is the highest level in high school cheerleading. Antioch is the only team in the medium division that performs this basket toss, so this move shows the difficulty level early in the routine. As they continued into their routine, the team executed a full team standing tuck as well as a majority for jumps to standing tucks, along with other difficult stunt sequences demonstrating in their cheer that Antioch can’t be contained.

While the team started off strong throughout the routine, they received a score deduction in one of their more difficult pyramids. Though the team made this mistake, they didn’t allow it to limit their chances at qualifying for state or losing the crowd’s attention. They continued with their routine and didn’t have any other mistakes.

“The mistake didn’t really affect us mentally,” junior Jadda Pope said. “We just kept going and didn’t let it affect the rest of the performance.”

As the team came off the floor, the excitement and energy felt by both the team and the audience was amazing. Both the coaches and athletes knew that their chances at state were high.

“It was the best feeling of redemption after not doing so well at our previous competition,” sophomore Riley Conway said. “Like we say in our cheer, it was a great way to tell our story.”

At the time of awards, every team gathered together in the team circle, holding hands with the hope of being one of the five teams that get to advance to state next weekend. Antioch was announced as the second place winners behind Grayslake Central which allowed them to advance to next weekend’s state championship.

“Our little mistake caused in the routine caused us to get 2nd at sectionals,” freshman Alexa Phillips said. “Now we know what to work on, and the team and I are ready to work hard this week and kick butt at state.”

Based off the scores from other sectional competitions, Antioch is in fourth place going into day one of the state competition.

Come down to Bloomington, Ill. as the Sequoits perform at a chance to be one of the top ten teams in the state to compete at day two and hopefully at a chance to continue their streak as IHSA medalists.