Senior Cheerleaders: Past, Present, Future


Bella Figurski

As 2021-2022 Lake Shore competitive cheer season is quickly passing, seniors are quickly approaching the end of their high school cheer journey. 

The 6 seniors on the team have cheered their whole high school career, however, not all of them plan to cheer after graduation. Kaleigh Wioskowski stated, “After high school, right now, I don’t think I’m going to cheer. I really want to focus on school, but I have greatly considered it. I have thought about cheering if I decide to go to Wayne. I am going to come back to Lake Shore and hopefully be able to help out the Lake Shore Cheer team!” 

Skylah Buford commented saying, “My plans for after high school are to cheer at UNLV.”

The seniors also took a look back to the past to recall their favorite cheer memories during their time in the Lake Shore cheer program. Aaliyah Sells shared, “My best memory is probably my freshman year stunt group. I was one of the only 2 freshmen on varsity, and with that comes a lot of stress. My senior, Haley Marsiglio, made that entire year go from one of the worst to the best. It was stressful being in the top group as a freshman, but I proved myself and have ever since.” 

Samya Neely stated, “My best memory would be cheering at the football games.” 

Wioskowski again said, “My best memory from cheer was probably cheering camp my sophomore year. I was newer to the team and this is where I bonded with my teammates and made friends with them for not just cheering. I also learned so much about the cheer from that camp. I was able to do cool stunts and I learned how to perform as a cheerleader. I learned how to build up my endurance to be the cheerleader I am today!”

The athletes also spoke out on their journey about how much they have improved, changed, and their thoughts on it. Buford said, “I feel like my journey has been very long both successful and unsuccessful but I have become a stronger and better cheerleader. Over the years even though it’s been hard sometimes after the pain and doubts that I have had about myself I think I’m doing way better now. Especially because I am now working on skills that I never thought in my mind I would ever be working on.” 

Sells also said, “The journey I have been through has literally been a roller coaster but I don’t think I would trade it for anything in the world. Doing cheer for so long has taught me lessons and created memories I could have never learned or made anywhere else.” 

Mandi Pearcy said,  “It’s a tough journey but it’s worth it in the long run.” 

Christa Shakori stated, “Getting to where I am now in cheer took a lot of work, and I enjoyed all of it. I made so many memories and friends and I know it has impacted my life in a great way.”

Cheerleading is a very demanding sport both physically and mentally and can change a person both inside and out. Shakori shared her thoughts saying, “My feelings about cheer have differed

throughout the years. I really have a love-hate relationship with the sport but this year feels different being a senior. I love guiding my team and having fun.” 

Samya Neely stated, “My feelings have changed. At first, I thought the competitive season was hard but it was actually fun.” 

Sells revealed her feelings, “I have always had the same feelings about cheer, but when I became a senior something changed. I was more amped than I have been before and I’ve felt more ready than anything. In my years growing up it felt like a lot of the time I was cheering for my seniors or for the older girls instead of just doing it for myself.”

The seniors have had so many amazing memories and experiences participating on this team and shared what they would go back and tell their younger selves. Buford stated, “Something I would tell my younger self would definitely be to stop overthinking it doesn’t get you anywhere but staying in the same spot. If you just work hard and throw the skills that you are told to throw, you may fall but at least you will figure out what you need to do next to make it better. Staying scared and never doing it doesn’t do anything but make the process longer for yourself while you see everyone throwing new skills and working on the things you want to work on. You are still stuck and complaining about where you’re at and how you have been there for so long. Create and motivate yourself to keep going and stay wanting to better yourself. You can do it. there will be failures and there will be successes but it’s only up to you where your standings are on those two things.” 

Pearcy said, “To  just be me, don’t worry about what people think.” 

Shakori also said, “One thing I would tell my younger self about cheer is that it requires a lot of hard work at a young age. Being a good cheerleader is all about your mindset and attitude. Having a good mindset will push you to achieve greater things.”

While it is sad to see the seniors leave, it is also exciting to see where they decide to go not only with cheer but how they are going to grow and change as people in the real world.