The pandemic was not easy on the Warriors cheer squad. Despite being used to a large co-ed team, this year they competed with a much smaller team. Nevertheless, coach Lilia Treviso skillfully guided her team through the season and achieved great results.
Coach Treviso, who herself was a cheerleader through middle and high school, has been coaching cheerleading at the Western School of Science and Technology for 5 years. “Our school is located in the heart of Maryvale; one of the most heavily COVID affected neighborhoods in AZ”, she said. “We were not able to practice in person until 2 months prior to competing. Tryout turnout was very low and instead of the large squad we’re used to, we ended up with only 8 cheerleaders. We did our best to host zoom practices and clinics but coaching cheer via zoom is incredibly difficult (no synchronization, unreliable connectivity). Additionally, we began practicing single stunts just one month prior to competing, which is unheard of! Normally it takes anywhere from 6 months to a year to nail down a routine. All sports at Western had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, low turnout and safety concerns.”
The Warriors cheer squad recently competed in game time and single stunt. Although they did not place in the former, they took home 1st place in the latter. According to coach Lilia, Senior cheer captain Ana P deserved an honorable mention. “She worked so hard this year to keep her grades up in a pandemic, motivate our team, keep up her responsibilities as captain and prepare for college” she said. Despite the hurdles, Cheer is the only team that prevailed thanks to the work of all the coaches, cheerleaders, parents and administration. Admin worked hard to place the cheerleaders in the same cohort during hybrid learning so they could practice together!
If there is one piece of advice coach Treviso could give to her squad, it would be that “perseverance and tenacity will take you far in all aspects of life. Even when you don’t know how to do something, being tenacious will get you there”. When asked about goals for next season, coach Lilia notes that their “number one goal every year is to focus on high academics. Cheer wise, tumbling is at the top of our priorities!”