Niles West Hosts IHSA Cheer Invite


The Coed Varsity cheer team celebrates after the invite is over.

By Gia Bexes, Features Editor

“Niles West, you may now take the floor,” the announcer says as the Niles West cheerleaders prepare to compete on the mat. This weekend, Niles West hosted a cheer invite on Sunday, Jan. 15th. The invite consisted of both JV and Varsity teams. 44 teams competed at the invite, including the Wolves JV and Coed Varsity teams. Both our JV and Coed Varsity teams placed third in their separate divisions.

One great aspect of the invite is the fact that both JV and Coed Varsity were able to compete and support each other. Events like these are what bring both teams closer.

“I love being on this team, it’s not just a cheer team though, it’s a family. We are all so close, and whenever we are together we have the best time. This team has improved so much in many ways over the season and I am so proud of who we have become and how much better we have gotten,” sophomore and JV member Amelia Big said.

For many new cheerleaders, the experience of hosting an invite was one that was brand new and exciting.

As for the seniors on the team, this invite holds a special place in their hearts as it is the last invite they will host as Niles West cheerleaders. “Since it was my last time getting to host a cheer invite at West, it was definitely a meaningful experience. I always enjoy hosting and getting to watch other teams compete in our gym. It is also super fun to see alumni come and visit as well. I am so proud of both our Varsity and JV teams for placing third in our respective divisions,” senior and Varsity captain Lindsey Ongyaco said.

Both teams have come a long way to become this successful. With the help of their coaches, the Wolves have made their way to the top.  “I think our coaches are the glue of our JV team. They are so supportive, caring, and sweet. They make us look forward to practice and they always turn it into a safe and fun space, we love Coach Maddie and Coach Alicia. I can’t wait for the next season and to see what it has in store for us,” Big said.

Hosting an IHSA invite calls for a lot of responsibility. The Wolves JV and Coed Varsity teams worked at the invite and assisted the other teams, such as guiding them to their respective rooms for preparation. Along with the cheerleaders, the Niles West football team also did their share of helping by working the concession stands and selling Niles West merchandise.

Not only does hosting an invite involve a lot of responsibility, but it also is a great time for all participating. The cheerleaders had a blast being in their own school and competing on their home mat. Competitions are fun to go to, but hosting an invite with large attendance calls for excitement.

Cheerleading invites are not short in time- they typically last all day long, as there are several divisions, teams, and awards that take place throughout the day.

“The program did a great job fundraising and we had a fun time hosting for other schools and competing. Both JV and Varsity placed third in their divisions, and the rest of the day we all did our jobs and enjoyed each other’s company. Our invite is always one of the best parts of the winter season,” junior and Varsity co-captain Maddy Chazen said.

Overall, the Wolves had a successful invite and look forward to their upcoming competitions. “It was a day well spent and also a great source for team bonding,” Ongyaco said.

Best of luck to both JV and Coed Varsity on the rest of their season!