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The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

the Epic

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

the Epic

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Cheer bounces back after the pandemic

Amanda Jin
Coming back from the COVID-19 pandemic, cheer is rebuilding bonds among themselves and the crowd.

“Ready, One, Two!” 

Coming back from the COVID-19 pandemic, cheer is rebuilding bonds: among themselves and the crowd and most importantly,  among each other. Motivated by their newly set goals, the team is improving at rapid speeds under the guidance of their newly appointed instructor, Janae Applegate. 

Staying out of the competitive circuit for more than five years, the team was taken aback when Applegate announced that they would be trying out for regional competitions, and, if possible, national competitions. This announcement greatly motivated everyone on the team and was a huge step toward their growth.

Cheer will soon hold another set of tryouts for their competitive team, a subteam that focuses mainly on perfecting stunts for performances rather than representing school spirit. Seniors and co-captains Ayanna Beberg and Minchae Kim are looking forward to competing because this is their last year on the team, so they want to make sure that this year is memorable for everyone. They are looking forward to improving their team’s skills. 

“For members, being part of the competition team will solidify their skills because of all the advanced stunts, cheers and choreography that we will have to perfect in order to compete,” Kim said. “It’s a great environment for personal growth, as well as growth for the whole team.” 

The team is no stranger to pressure during practice. Since the sport entirely relies on each member of the team to perform well, it can be discouraging for many members when they don’t perform a stunt perfectly because they might feel as if they are letting down their team. During these times, Applegate has them take deep breaths and envision how they want a stunt to follow through as a group. Applegate doesn’t allow any negative tension in the room, as negativity brings down the whole team. Furthermore, she likes to balance the amount of time they spend on each routine. She believes that in order for the team to move forward and succeed, everyone on the team must believe in themselves as well as each other — that strong bonds between members are the most important factor to succeeding. 

“Coach Janae is very ambitious,” sophomore Olivia Hu said. “She thinks that nothing is perfect and that it is better to explore new stunts and routines instead of being stuck on one routine. This has helped me a lot as a cheerleader because I learn better when I get the general idea of what I need to cover instead of being frustrated over the same stunt.” 

Due to COVID-19, there has been a noticeable shortage of students trying out for cheer. For the team, this means that everyone’s role in the team holds even more weight than before. This has had both positive and negative impacts on the team; a close-knit team leads to stronger bonds, however, one member’s mistake can take a huge toll on the overall performance of the team. 

Despite the setback, the team is focusing on rebuilding bonds and facilitating more spirit within Lynbrook. For the current football season, they have been cheering at all home and away games, whereas previously they only participated in home games. For the team, this means more time dedicated to the sport to polish stunts as well as additional opportunities to provide encouragement and support for the football team this fall season. 

“This year, I think that we want to focus on connecting cheer, the football team and the crowd,” Beberg said. “We all missed out on a lot of things during the pandemic, so getting everyone together again and making memories is the main goal this year.”

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About the Contributors
Alexandra Wu
Alexandra Wu, Staffer
(she/her) Alexandra is a sophomore and a first-year staffer in the Epic. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her guinea pigs and going out with friends and family.
Amanda Jin
Amanda Jin, Staffer
(she/her) Amanda is a sophomore and a new staffer for the Epic. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, listening to music, and watching random cat videos.

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