2011 Cheerleading Preview

By Paulina Michael

The cheerleaders pictured performing at the Winter Pep Assembly.

The NWN sat down with head Cheerleading coach, Jessica Olsen, to discuss the Varsity Cheerleading squad’s 2011-12 season.

NWN: Where are most of the cheers and routines picked up from? Such as, the homecoming assembly routine?

 Olsen: Well, our homecoming assembly routine was a mix from the seniors’ choreography and the coaches’ choreography. We also have a choreographer now, so that’s where we base it off of, also with our [coaches’] choreography.

 NWN: What kind of competitions will the team partake in this year?

 Olsen:We have five competitions that we’re competing in this year. Our two major ones would be, sectionals and conference. To get to state we have to place in the top five at sectionals, which is our goal.

 NWN: How do you plan on preparing for them?

 Olsen:The girls are in workouts, so they’re working out. We have a hired choreographer so that we get everything organized. Now it’s just about practicing. The stunts need to be practiced and landed. The girls are taking tumbling once a week too. There’s a lot on the girls now, it’s all them and just practice.

 NWN: What are some of the accomplishments Niles West cheerleaders have achieved in the past?

 Olsen: I know that last year was the first time we were competing in IHSA. So, since it’s our second year now we’re hoping to do better in competitions. Before we were registered and began competing with IHSA, it was a lot of smaller competitions. The assistant coach and myself both graduated from Niles West and were cheerleaders here, so I remember as a senior we only had one competition.

 NWN: What are some of the goals you have for this season?

 Olsen: Our goals this season is to go to state. Also, we want to do well in conference, so our goal is to place in the top three of our conference. More girls have been taking tumbling this year, which is what we wanted. There’s a lot of improvement with that since last year.

 NWN: Who are the key seniors, and cheerleaders, on the squad?

Olsen: We have Natalie Dimaria, a senior who’s the basketball captain, but she’s injured, so she’s not doing competition. Bella Batochir, a senior on competition is a really strong flyer that we have. As well as, senior Patricia Kobeszko. Some of our key juniors are Elizabeth Holbrook, she’s a strong tumbler, and Shelby Rosin, one of our captains.