The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media


Vikings to Sequoits: An athlete’s journey

The Antioch Vikings organization has given athletes crucial preparation for more advanced levels of cheer and football in high school.
The 2022 Lightweight Superbowl Champions.

When driving past Tim Osmond Park on a chilly weekend in the fall, chances are that hundreds of people are gathered on the football fields to support the Antioch Vikings football and cheer programs. The Vikings organization is a staple for the small town of Antioch. In fact, many current Sequoit athletes were once an Antioch Viking.

After nine years with the Antioch Vikings, senior Aiden Van Alstine used the lessons and knowledge he learned from those countless practices and games and has applied them to his four-year high school football career.

“[Antioch Vikings] gave me an idea of what the sport is about itself, the flow of the game and how it works,” Van Alstine said. “Without it, I feel like it’d be hard to jump into freshman year and just do it by [yourself].”

Young Aiden Van Alstine running the ball.
Senior Aiden Van Alstine

A unique factor of the Vikings organization is that parents of athletes can coach and get involved. Growing up within the Vikings organization and having three of her children go through the same process, assistant coach for the Vikings eighth-grade squad, Kelly Sheehan also believes that the organization has prepared her children for success throughout high school.

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“The coaches, assistant coaches and team moms help to instill work ethic, discipline, respect and an overall way to carry one’s self,” Sheehan said. “My motto has always been ‘don’t embarrass the family.’ The girls always know this to mean more than your actual family. It means yourself, your family, your organization and your community. Do your best, but always carry yourself in a way that outshines your performance, good or bad.”

Alongside football, cheerleading at ACHS is very demanding and competitive, especially after placing third in the state last season. Senior Addison Pyburn has cheered for the Sequoits for all four years of her high school career. Prior to that, she was an Antioch Viking for six years. Vikings cheer has allowed Pyburn to learn about time management, physical skills and how to be a part of a team. Without Vikings, Pyburn would not be where she is today.

Young Addison Pyburn
Senior Addison Pyburn

“If I didn’t do Vikings cheer I definitely would not be cheering in high school because I would have had no prior experience or confidence in the sport,” Pyburn said. “The most beneficial thing I learned from Vikings was that hard work equals success and that helped me moving forward into the more intense high school cheer environment.”

Without a doubt, the Antioch Vikings organization has given countless opportunities for preparation and friendship before entering the more difficult high school atmosphere. The lessons taught in Vikings can not only be carried throughout high school but throughout life as well.

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About the Contributor
Laila Salata
Laila Salata, Tom Tom Staff
Laila Salata is a senior and this is her second year on staff. Salata plays field hockey and does cheerleading for ACHS. In her free time, Salata enjoys taking pictures, spending too much money on Starbucks, and being with friends and family. Bonus fact, she is also Miss Antioch 2023.  
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