Bring It On

How two MN juniors balance school and cheerleading

Junior Skye Hester participated in both All Star and MN cheer. Currently on her 8th season, She participated in All star cheer up until her sophomore year. 

“All Star cheer can be pretty mentally and physically draining, especially combined with school and MN cheer. I had felt like I’d done everything that I wanted to do,” [with All star cheer] Hester said. 

The main difference between All Star cheer and MN cheer is that MN performs at games and pep rallies along with competitions. While All Star is strictly competition based. 

Hester chose to quit All star cheer because she reached the highest level out of six. This meant difficult choreo and more practice. Combined with school and MN cheer it could be taxing.

“MN cheer meets in the mornings and All star is in the evenings, so there were days where I had two practices in one day,” Hester said.

Junior, Sarah Allen has been doing competitive cheer for the past 10 years. Also a member of All star cheer up until freshman year, when she decided she only wanted to pursue MN cheer. 

Allen and her team had their fair share of difficulties during the MN cheer season. Constant teammate injuries meant that they would have to keep adding changes to the choreography formations. 

“When the choreography is constantly changing it can be frustrating. Even though we tried to accommodate all our teammates it definitely made picking up the choreography harder,” Allen said.

Allen had her own injury during the year, struggling with tendinitis in both of her legs, she had to sit out during most of their practices with nationals two weeks away. 

“It did scare me that I had to sit out with nationals so close but I also didn’t want to be hurt for the competition,” Allen said. 

Even though MN cheer had these rough patches during the year, they were able to depend on their coaches and senior members to get them through the competition season. 

All star cheer’s coaches are more strict than MN cheer, being in a competitive environment meant that the coaches expect more from the members of the team. 

“I think the All star coaches were more hard on us, we knew they loved us but they wanted to push us to do our best in competition,” Allen said.

Allen has her own ways of balancing school and cheerleading. She stays organized with her assignments and uses a calendar to keep track of practices and upcoming exams.

“I take every day one step at a time. I also try to go to bed early when I have practices the next morning so I’m energized for school after,” Allen said. 

With the competition season already coming to a close, MN cheer is focusing on cheering for the upcoming basketball season and April tryouts.