Correction from CLC:
This is not the first cheerleading squad CLC has had. There was been a pom squad in the mid-2000s and there were cheerleaders in the 1980s-90s.
For the first time in the College of Lake County’s history, there will be Lancer Cheerleaders taking the floor to cheer and perform half-time shows during tonight's girls' and boys' basketball games, beginning at 6 p.m.
This group of young ladies comes from around the county, most with cheer experience as both youth rec and high school cheerleaders.
"We’re a pretty diverse group," said Lisa McCarthy, captain and founder of the new CLC cheer squad. "Our girls come from Warren Township, Mundelein, Waukegan and Zion. It’s exciting because we are coming to together as former rivals and now we’re building a united team."
Alissa Doucet, former MJFL and four year MHS Varsity cheerleader, said of the new team, "I’m just so excited that such a talented group of students from surrounding areas were able to come together for the beginning of a great new athletic program at CLC! I can’t wait to see the program soar!"
McCarthy, 20, is a life-long cheerleader and former Waukegan High School JV cheer coach, attending the college. She wondered why the school didn’t have a cheer squad and asked one of her professors, Henna Kittridge, now faculty advisor for the club, why there wasn’t a team.
"She asked me why we didn’t have cheerleaders at CLC, and I told her that I didn’t know, but if she wanted a cheer squad to go out and start one…so she did," said Kittridge.
When McCarthy learned that she needed a faculty advisor willing to oversee the club, she asked the teacher who had inspired her, and Henna immediately came to the aid of the girls.
"The girls have been so wonderful and they’ve taught me so much," said Kittridge. "Everyone at the school that I’ve talked to is excited to have a cheerleading squad here. It’s a great way to get excitement and more pep at the game, and it’s also a great way to get more people to think about coming to CLC."
"For this year, we are considered a club, but next year we hope to be recognized as a school sport," said McCarthy.
As a club, this new team of athletes has set their own practice schedules, bought their own uniforms, paid for practice space with their own funds, and have dedicated themselves to being spirit ambassadors for the Lancer athletes and student body.
Chassidy Spencer, co-captain of the team, said "It’s exhilarating. We have been able to overcome various obstacles and continue to succeed in everything that has been thrown in our paths. I believe CLC needs a little bit more school spirit and I am confident that this team will rise to the occasion!"
When asked how she felt about being a CLC cheerleader Viviana Ramirez replied, "To me cheering is a passion, and now [we] can show CLC what this first generation of cheerleaders are capable of. I feel blessed and honored to be on the squad!"
Tonight's girls' basketball game begins at 5:15 p.m., followed by the boys' game at 7:15 p.m. The cheerleaders perform at 6 p.m.
"It would be great to see youth rec and high school cheerleaders from around the county come out to the game this Thursday night to support the girls," said Jessica McCarthy, Lisa’s mother. "They’ve been working really hard, and it’s very exciting to see the experience and input that each girl has brought to the routine.
Press release submitted by FeelinGroovy Enterprises.