As the 2013-2014 Illinois State Cheerleading team met for the last time the feelings were bitter sweet. The end of the year banquet seals the final steps that we take together as a team. The year has been wonderful and it was time to celebrate it. The banquet began in true cheerleading style with stunts. Each team, all girl and co-ed, met on the mats and threw the hardest stunts. The show was fantastic. Family and friends watched and cheered us on in normal fashion while we showed our best. Picture time was next. Like any ordinary family, there were members either dreading the flashes or giving their 100-watt smile. Of course there were the candid camera photos as well. Funny moments were captured and some of sadness. As I hugged my three best friends leaving our faces showed the same reaction, frowns. But to bring the spirits up we fought back the tears and reminisced on all the wonderful times we had together. Once the performance was over it was time for every cheerleader’s favorite time of day, dinner. Rosati’s catered the food and it was delicious. The carbs got to me and almost put me into a food coma but then I realized there was still dessert. Every year, Andrea, a fellow cheerleader and dear friend, and her mom bake the most amazing cupcakes. This year’s star was the banana bread cupcake topped with a cream cheese frosting. It was like heaven in my mouth. Once everyone’s bellies were full and before the chit-chatting between parents and cheerleaders got underway, it was time to announce some awards. A current member nominates each award recipient and from there the coaches decide who is the winner. This year there were seven awards and a winner from both the all girl and co-ed team. The recipients were as follows:
Most likely to Coach: Ashley Dylik and Cindy Kirchner
Most Dedicated: Ashley McCue and Christian Peters
Best Attitude: Ciara Fischer and Paige Smith
Most Spirited: Abi Weisenberger and Luis Waight
Most Improved: Rachel Wahrman and Nick Smith
Rookie of the Year: Kaylee Sherman and Natalie Chiarello
Most Valuable Cheerleader: Andrea Wilson and Courtney Conner
These recipients are deserving of these awards and have worked very hard over the past year. As a winner of the Most likely to Coach award two years in a row, I am honored that my teammates think so highly of me. I hope that I can perform as they have nominated me to and become a coach someday. Cheerleading is a part of my life that I never want to give up.
As a final note, I want to thank every teammate and both coaches for an amazing year. My junior year would not have been the same if it weren’t for everyone on the team. I have learned multiple lessons from each and will continue to add those into my daily routine. I am blessed to have met so many wonderful people and I wish the seniors all the very best in their future endeavors.