Photo Courtesy of: Sherri Taormina
From hitting the books to hitting the mat for years, Lake Shore High School’s senior cheerleaders are preparing for it all to end in their high school career.
Lake Shore High School’s Senior cheerleaders Samantha Lundy, Brooke Nysen, Marisa Mercurio, Cassidy Greene, Abigale Palacios, Mary Lapratt, Samantha Dreisbach, Madeline Davis, and Hannah Mcelrath are definitely not only leaving a legacy in the cheer program but in the school as well.
Many of the seniors have a love and passion for cheerleading that started many years ago, as far back as young children. One of the senior cheerleaders, Lundy said,“ I started cheering when I was 5. It looked really fun. My parents put me into it and I really liked it so I just stuck to it.” From these young ages and up through middle school and on, the love for the sport started to grow and still is continuing to grow.
A huge part of cheer is the time and training that is put into it. Cheerleader, Davis says one thing she likes about training is, “That it builds up strength and mental toughness.”
Senior cheerleader, Greene also said one thing she likes about training is, “I like that you can see progress from the more work you put in.” This is rewarding because it’s a good feeling to have when you see progress from all the tough training that you put into something that you love.
Just like anything that someone may love, there may be something that they dislike about it. Both Greene and Lundy said one thing they dislike about cheer is the amount of time the sport takes up and how they really don’t have a life outside of cheer. They put so much time and dedication into their sport that it is really what their world revolves around.
Davis also said one thing she dislikes about cheering is, “Probably the soreness of it, the way I feel after.” Time and dedication along with the pain cheerleaders endure from something they love will only push them harder, which will bring a good reward afterward.
Like all athletes, there’s a major highlight and achievement in their career that they worked hard for. Nysen said her major achievement in her cheer career was, “cheering through the school has gotten me a spot on the Alma cheer and stunt team for 2020.”
Lundy also said her major achievement was, “Making varsity as a freshman.”
Davis had a similar achievement but making varsity after being on JV for one year.
Whether it’s winning a championship or making an elite team, anything they work hard for and had a positive outcome afterward is an achievement.
As the cheer season is coming to an end, and for seniors, their cheer career is also coming to an end, many take time to reflect on their memories. Daivs said that her fondest memory from cheer is, “All of the relationships that I have built.” These are the memories that are very important because these are things that lasted for a lifetime.
Greene and Lundy also have similar memories but either from sleepovers to camp. These incredible memories are the ones they will never forget.
Just because their high school years may be coming to an end, the senior cheerleaders are opening doors to bigger and better careers as young women.
Nysen said, “I’m going to Alma and cheering for four years, and then, I’m going to Wayne for PT school.”
Lundy said, “ I’m going to go into nursing.”
As the seniors are preparing to walk across the stage and set off on their own journeys, they are leaving a legacy behind for future cheerleaders to follow behind.
Nysen advises, “Work as hard as you can now because it will pay off in the end.” This is some very important advice because future cheerleaders can apply it to so much more than sports, they can apply to everything and anything they do. If they work hard for something now, then everything will pay off in the end.
The advice that Greene would also give to younger athletes is, “If you love it, don’t let other people take it away from you.” This is also important advice because if anyone have a love and a passion for something then they should never let anyone take it away from them nor make them feel any different about.
Lake Shore High School’s cheer coach, Sherri Taormina said she will definitely miss the senior cheerleaders. She said, “This group of seniors is extremely special…this group has kind of been a staple to our Program and they’ve really taken their leadership duties to heart this year.”
She continued,“ There are so many times where I can’t even think about them not being part of the program, This is going to be one of the most emotional exits for a group.” This is definitely going to be tough because the senior cheerleaders have definitely shown the true meaning of leadership and what it takes to be the best you can.
Taormina says the seniors make her extremely proud. From their interactions with people in their lives to doing things that will make newcomers to the program feel connected. Taormina said, “I just love seeing the people that they are. I guess I’m saying this because I’ve known them so long.”
She continued, “I also get to see them become women you know from like little girls.” This is something to be very proud of because not only training takes a lot of time and dedication but also making footsteps for the younger cheerleaders to one day follow into.
Over the years, Taormina has been able to form a bond with the seniors and make long-lasting memories. One memory that she could never forget the words of advice that they all gave at camp during the summertime at their candle lighting ceremony.
She said, “really great words that came from their own hearts. That I think again kind of makes me proud of them for you know the women they are and just how they look at the team.”
She added, “ It’s truly about enjoying what we do in our Sport and doing things for each and every individual… that was a pretty significant moment and I don’t think that would be one I would forget.” These are the memories that could never be forgotten and last for a lifetime.
As the seniors are closing one chapter of their lives and moving onto the next adventure one thing that Taormina says they should know and always remember is,” If you take the shortcut it will catch up with you, Doing things selfishly or in a cheating way will always catch up with you, so if you know that you’re doing things for the right reasons and in the right way then you will be on a good road.” This is important for everyone to follow because it applies to everyday things or situations.
Lake Shore High School senior cheerleaders will definitely be missed, but they’ve created a legacy that will continue to inspire people from here on out.