Cheer team battles through injuries, rule changes

Terrin Waack, Staff Writer

From the stands of a Fox Valley conference cheerleading competition, the Cary-Grove cheerleading team may seem to be calm, cool, and collected, but on the inside, they are a bundle of nerves from all that has happened in the past hour. So far, their competition season has not gone the way they have wanted. It has been full of injuries and illegal stunting that keeps knocking them back down in the ranking.

At the conference competition on Jan. 19, the Trojan girls went up against six other varsity teams.  With Huntley locking in first place at their own school, Cary-Grove followed behind in sixth even though their routine seemed to have gone well besides one stunt failure. However, senior captain Danielle Farmer knows that their unfortunate luck lately at competitions is not due to a lack of talent.

“We have so much skill on this team and I honestly couldn’t ask for a better group of girls,” Farmer said. “I think competition season has been such a struggle this year just because of all the injuries we’ve had. We have had two serious concussions and injuries with girls’ wrists, knees, and ankles. Cheerleading is a very dangerous sport and I don’t think people realize that. But our JV alternates have really stepped up for us so I think you’ll see our luck turn around by the Huntley competition and sectionals for sure.”

With the rules of competitive cheerleading changing each year, the girls need to learn and adjust. On the other hand, there are so many little rules that can destroy a performance without the team even knowing it until after the results have been shared. Besides the injuries, this is one the main issues the Trojans’ cheerleading squad is facing in more than one competition.

“We have had a lot of bumps in the road this season,” Farmer said. “Competitions have been hard this year because we have had to change out routine a number of times due to illegal stunts.”

So whether it is an injury or an illegal stunt that is holding the girls back from finally reaching their first place goal, they continue to work around the obstacle and do some adjusting when needed.

“As captain, my job is to make sure everyone is informed on what we’re doing,” Farmer said. “When things go wrong like they did at the Buffalo Grove competition, I come up with solutions to try and solve the problem. Also, I try to make sure the girls are happy with what we’re doing and keep the positive energy up at all times.”

Seeing the girls compete first hand, one can see that Farmer succeeds at her job as captain. Every girl in a Trojan uniform has a smile on her face and her held high no matter what happens in the end. Cheerleading is more than just skirts and big bows — the stunting and competition is serious and the girls continue to correct their mistakes and focus on future competitions ahead of them. The next competition coming up is the Huntley competition and then sectionals – time for the girls who normally do the cheering to get cheered for.