Varsity cheerleaders finish 2nd at Sandburg


Patrick Slater

Cheerleaders perform at halftime of the West Aurora football game on Oct. 22.

Rori Locke, Sports Media class

For the first time in 22 months, the Minooka varsity cheer team took the mat at Carl Sandburg High School, Sunday, Dec. 5. During this competition, they competed in the large division, taking home second. 

“It was the best performance of the routine  I’ve seen so far and the energy was electric in the gym” head coach Kelly Bielec said.  

Going into this competition, the girls have not truly competed since early 2020. Also, this year’s sophomores and freshmen have never competed at the high school level.

 Last year’s season, no girls were able to stunt in high school. So this season is the first time they have also been able to stunt since their last competitions. 

“My favorite part of the routine is the first stunt, it is a hard stunt but it looks really cool and I love the way our uniform skirt twirls while the stunt spins,” junior Piper Ritchey said. 

During the routine, the girls have extremely difficult tumbling. Freshman Giada Taranto is the final pass of the routine. 

“My favorite part is my tumbling because so many people were cheering for me,” Taranto said. 

“Though it’s simple, I think motions are so important,” Ritchey said. “That’s how people decide if we are clean or sloppy.” 

They need to improve or sharpen their motions, according to both girls. 

Going into cheerleading competitions most teams are nervous and trying to get their jitters out as a team, but the Minooka varsity team went to cheer on the younger, Minooka JV cheerleaders, who also finished second. 

“Not many high schools have an older group to look up and cheer for. So we are very lucky to have the Minooka varsity team by our sides throughout the season,” JV cheerleader Gianna Cooney said. 

The girls continuously show leadership and are great role models for others. 

“This team is going to make amazing things happen this season and I can’t to be able to watch it all happen,” Bielec said. 

The girls will be competing next at Joliet West on Dec. 19. 


Rori Locke is a member of the JV cheerleading team.