Cheerleading excels football season, prepares for remainder of the year

The cheerleading squad blew spectators away at Homecoming earlier in the fall with its fun and skillful routine. Still, the team has more up its sleeves when it comes to the remainder of the year. With the football season wrapping up, the squad is looking forward to the basketball season. 

In order to bring fans their well-executed and choreographed routines, the Wildkits practice regularly.

“A typical practice will begin with running a few laps around the indoor track for conditioning, [and] group stretching, which is led by one of the cheerleaders. Then, we will review sideline cheers, get into groups for stunting, practice a halftime routine and, of course, [do] some team bonding,” said co-head coach Candice Sayles. 

Sayles and co-head coach LaShanda Banks are both in their first year at ETHS. Both coaches were excited to see the large turnout at this year’s tryouts. 

“The first day of the tryout clinics was pretty scary for all of us,” says junior Katiana Edwards. “There were a lot of returning cheerleaders who’ve gone through this process countless times, and others who have never cheered before. The coaches took us step-by-step to learn the basics and fundamentals of cheer.”

Tryouts were really fun,” commented freshman Anna Laing. “We had to learn a cheer, a dance and the fight song.” 

Along with cheering at varsity basketball games, Wildkit cheerleaders also have their competition season.

We are certainly looking forward to the competition season,” Coach Sayles remarked. “We would like to take our stunting and tumbling skills to the next level.” 

Like all Evanston sports teams, the Wildkit cheerleaders are still adjusting to being back during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Being back after COVID was definitely a change,” said junior Olivia Stevenson. 

Regardless, no one has been able to tell. The Wildkits have taken it in stride and are off to a great start.