5, 6, 7, 8, Victory is Their Fate! The Successful Fall and Winter Cheerleading Seasons


Courtesy of lakeland_cheerleading Instagram

Both Lakeland cheerleading teams had fantastic seasons, and made many long-lasting memories throughout!

Both Lakeland Regional High School’s fall and winter cheerleading seasons were major successes. Both teams managed their way through the challenges of the pandemic, and ended up with victorious endings and everlasting memories.

Fall Season

The 2020 fall cheer season “went the best it could” according to Coach Nicole DeCarlo. The team initially thought they were only going to be able to cheer at home games, but luckily got to travel and cheer at away games as well.

Coach DeCarlo said that her goals for the season were to simply “have as much fun” as the team could and to have their Senior Night. To DeCarlo and the team’s pleasure, both goals were happily achieved. 

The team had four captains this season: Senior Ava Reiff, Senior Brenda Gulliksen, Senior Hailey Vanwetering, and Junior “co-captain” Kate McCormack. Coach DeCarlo was very thrilled with the captains, explaining how they did “a great job keeping the sidelines clean and organized.”

While the team did manage to meet their goals and have lots of fun (safely of course), the season was still far from normal due to the pandemic. DeCarlo explains that COVID took away the ability to host normal tryouts and have a professionally choreographed routine. The pandemic also caused the Lancers to be unable to perform their difficult stunts and attend camp. The team unfortunately was also unable to partake in other activities outside of practices due to the pandemic, including Thursday night dinners.

Despite the complications COVID-19 posed, the team still had as much fun as they could. DeCarlo elaborated, saying that even though sports were far from normal this year, the team being around each other and performing the sport they loved together gave them all that taste of ‘normalcy’ athletes have been missing out on.

Congratulations to the 2020 fall cheerleading team on making a great season during these times of uncertainty!

Winter Season

The 2021 winter cheerleading season was one that will never be forgotten. The team made the most of their season, winning many achievements and having the time of their lives.

The team had a perfect 6-0 season. Reiff, who also participates in winter cheerleading, said that the team’s biggest goal was to add another year to the cheer’s banner in the new gym for conference champions, and that is just what they did. The team won the Big North Conference Championships and Reiff could not be “any prouder” of her teammates and coaches for such a “successful” season.

The winter team pointing to the banner where their new victory will soon be added on. (Courtesy of lakeland_cheerleading Instagram)

Coach Erin Rhinesmith expressed her great appreciation for this year’s team. She explained that the Lancers were up against many challenges, yet the girls came to practice everyday “ready to work and that work certainly paid off with a championship.” Every coach on the team was “extremely proud of the team”, and Coach Rhinesmith shouted out the seniors who “showed so much leadership” during these times of uncertainty. 

The season was overall great for the Lancers, despite the fact it took place amidst a pandemic. Gulliksen, who also does competition cheerleading, explained that one of the greatest challenges during the season was “learning and perfecting a routine in three weeks,” as the team normally had six months to do so. 

Coach Rhinesmith explained that the season had a quick start, beginning on February 1, 2021, with their first competition shortly following on February 22. Battling snow days and winter precipitation also played a role in limiting the team’s time to prepare for their first competition. 

Reiff adds, saying that “wearing masks throughout practices, routines, and competitions” was another major adjustment the team needed to get used to, but Coach Rhinesmith never heard “a complaint.” The girls handled masks and other COVID-19 protocols “extremely well” and did their part in keeping everyone safe. 

Despite their complications, Coach Rhinesmith explained that the “team came together so quickly” and used their challenges as a source of motivation, rather than letting the struggles bring them down. The team did unfortunately face a 10 day closure due to the pandemic during the season, but that did not slow them down! Coach Rhinesmith said that many of the girls “continued to work on their skills” and “never missed a beat” when they were able to return to practices. 

Overall, the team found a light amidst all of this darkness, and had a season that will always be remembered at Lakeland. Congratulations to the 2021 Lakeland competition cheerleading team on such a remarkable season!