“Go Knights!” The varsity cheerleaders at Grayslake North High School have reason to cheer, for themselves this time.
The Grayslake North Varsity Cheerleading team placed ninth at the IHSA State finals this past weekend in Bloomington Normal. This was the team’s fourth time qualifying for state. The team qualified for state after placing third out of 17 teams in their division at the IHSA sectionals.
Stephanie Kapchinksi, Grayslake North cheerleading coach, said for four seniors on the team, this was their fourth year in a row experiencing state finals.
Elizabeth Kalina, one of the seniors, said that starting on the varsity team as a freshman was intimidating at first, but being able to witness the varsity program grow over the years was a great experience. She said getting to state was a huge accomplishment.
The other three seniors who experienced state finals for their fourth year in a row are Jenny Stielow, Becca Dahm and Jaclyn Norum.
Kalina said part of the team’s success came from their emphasis on communication and supporting each other.
“We all worked together toward the same goal,” she said.
The team has a total of 23 members; seven seniors, eight juniors, seven sophomores and one freshman.
Kapchinski said the girls have been working together since June to get where they are today. “Cheerleading is almost a year round sport," she said. "They are a tight group of girls that work well together and support each other. They have overcome obstacles and pushed themselves to their limits. They have never given up on each other or themselves. They are an amazing group of girls and I am honored to be their coach."
The routine they performed is 1 minute and 30 seconds of music and approximately 1 minute and 10 seconds of cheer, she said.
In 2010 the Grayslake North Varsity team placed 11th at the state finals; in 2009 they placed sixth at state; and in 2008 they placed 11th at state.
According to the IHSA results Grayslake North received a total score of 84.52 within the medium team category. Lemont High School placed first in the medium team category with a total score of 91.18.