Lee’s Varsity Cheer Season in Review

The Lancer Cheer Team prevailed despite an injury-fueled 2018 season

Courtesy of Alexis Wilkerson
The 2018 Varsity Cheer Team is all smiles

Livia Spinale, Staff Writer

The 2018 cheer season was filled with ups, downs, and everything in between. This year, varsity was run by head coach Bea Codjoe and assistant coach Megan Suhok. Varsity competed in a Semi-Finals, Finals, and Regional competitions.

The cheer team placed 4th at both the Semi-Finals and Finals held at Wakefield High School. Due to a technicality involving Marshall High School’s eligibility, Lee was able to advance onto Regionals, but unfortunately they did not place.

Last year’s varsity cheer team placed first in their Finals competition and moved onto Regionals. This years team faced the challenge meeting that expectation victory and upholding their reputation, but a series of unfortunate injuries held them back.

Senior captain Alexis Wilkerson is proud of her teammates because she understood that their health was more important than winning.

“I think we all did the best we could in the position we were in. We could have executed things a little bit better, but for what we were going through at the time, we did good job,” Wilkerson said.

Sophomore Alaina Wheeler, was also pleased on how the team responded to setbacks.

“I think the team’s greatest victory was when someone fell during competition we were able to push through and get all of our stunts up,” Wheeler said.

Three varsity cheerleaders were unable to compete because of major injuries which included a broken ankle and a concussion.

“We had a lot of injuries and people we being taken out. Just having to rearrange formations [for competition] and getting our mindset back on what we wanted to accomplish was kind of hard,” Wilkerson said.

Because of the Lancer lost so many cheerleaders, the varsity team tapped into the JV team first and then the freshman team for a substitute flyer. Freshman Adriana Guzman learned she had been selected to compete with the varsity competition team through a text message from her coach. Guzman served on the team for the Semi-Finals, Finals, and Regional competitions.

“It was really fun and you get to learn new things so it [was] exciting,” Guzman said.

Guzan was grateful for the opportunity compete with older girls with a higher skill level.

“It’s good to take new chances on doing something new because you can gain good things out of it,” Guzman said.

This was Wheeler’s first year on the team after competing as a cheerleader at Mount Vernon High School. She served as a backspot for stunting. Wheeler’s season highlight was “going to competition for the first time.”

One major surprise for the team was the announcement that three of the four cheer coaches would be leaving at the end of the season. The coaches are still committed to Lee’s cheer program, but plan on pursuing other projects. The girls were shocked by the news, but were understanding of the circumstances.

Wilkerson has devoted the past nine years of her life to cheerleading and plans to try to give back to Lee’s team as a coach. As her last season, it was special to Wilkerson.

“It was my last season so it was bittersweet because I am moving onto new things, but I am definitely going to come back. In the position we were in, I feel like we all pulled it together. It was a pretty not good season, but I am glad we pushed through,” Wilkerson said.

The fall 2018 cheer season was demanding with high expectations to meet. The girls learned how to work together and persevere despite many major setbacks and injuries.