Cheering for MHS’s Varsity Cheer Team’s Success


Photo by Sara Ellis

The varsity cheer team sits for a photo at their Invitational on Jan. 14. The smiles of the cheerleaders shine as they bring home their 12th place plaque.

Lia Koski, Staff Reporter

  “Five, six, seven, eight,” Mundelein High School’s varsity cheer team yelled as they spiraled, flipped, and tumbled across the mat at their latest Invitational on Jan. 14. Their hard work paid off, as they placed 12th out of 22 teams at the Invitational and were able to bring home a plaque for the first time this season. The varsity cheer team’s upcoming competition is at Sectionals, and the outcome there will determine if they proceed to state. 

  Sara Ellis, varsity cheer team coach and is helping them reach for the stars. She has been the head coach for cheer for the last three years. Ellis was excited about the opportunity to compete against other teams at the Invitational.

  “. . .It is important to see how we compare to other team scores to make sure we are matching competitive scores. This helps us understand what we need to do as a team to be successful,” Ellis stated. 

  After the Invitational, Ellis was thrilled with the results. 

  “We were competing against a handful of extremely strong teams and I am very proud of our team’s ability to succeed in a challenging division,” she said. 

  Sophomore Kaitlyn Greenberg has been on the varsity cheer team since her freshman year. She stated that the team has come a long way since the beginning of the season.

  “Before each invitational, I get really excited to see how we progress, yet nervous to perform in front of a huge crowd of people. After competitions, I feel proud to know that our team has put their foot forward not only for themselves but for each other,” Greenberg said. 

  Another cheerleader, Senior Rayna Carreathers, has also been on the varsity cheer team at MHS since her freshman year. She describes the 2023 cheer season as being “extremely sentimental” for her. 

  “I’ve been cheering my entire life and knowing it’s all coming to an end has been really sad. The nine other seniors and I have been trying to make the most of our final [season] go around. We have been working really hard as a team to finish the season with something we are all proud of,” Carreathers said. 

  Even with this recent success from the Invitational, the cheer team continues to persist in their goals. 

  “Our goal as a team is to hit a perfect routine. That means having all tumbling go and land without extra steps, and all stunts to stay up in the air with no one falling. We have been working tremendously on perfecting our routine. I believe the more confident the team feels about the routine the more likely it is to hit,” Ellis said. 

  Carreathers added how the team has been using the judges’ critiques to improve their skills and routine because their “final goal as a team has always been state!” 

  Nonetheless, this cheer team’s season has not been without challenges, to say the least. The greatest obstacle this season for cheer was the changing of the division in which they compete. The division change was due to a member of the team leaving for personal reasons. 

  “We have not been in the all-girl division in several years so it’s all new for us. We’ve been working to change up our routine to fit into this new division,” Carreathers said. 

  The cheer team will continue to work hard and tackle any obstacles that come their way in order to perform their best at Sectionals and then hopefully state. 

  “We did not make it [to state] last year, and having 10 seniors on the team I know how badly these kids want to go,” Ellis stated. “I believe we can make it this year!”