Cerny’s cheer career built on trust


Photo courtesy of Tiffany Cerny.

Cerny (on the right) posing with a teammate at a competition in Oak Forest while holding a trophy.

Emily Ryan, Editor

When it comes to being a cheerleader, a normal person sees the matching bows and outfits, the makeup, the glitter, and the performance. But they never see what happens behind the scenes of what it’s really like to be a cheerleader. 

All of the preparation that goes into putting on a show is harder than you might think, but it is totally worth it for junior Skylar Cerny. 

After Cerny’s first year of being on the team, she had to overcome some obstacles to be able to move from JV to varsity going into her junior year. 

“Knowing that I came from JV my first year, and [I] then was moved to be on varsity the next, I would definitely do it [join the team] again. Although the season was hard, I know that this feeling of accomplishment will stay with me for a while,” Cerny said.

In middle school, Cerny’s desire for learning how to do the splits and a backbend sparked her interest in the sport of cheerleading. 

“I was cheering all throughout middle school mostly because I decided over the summer one day going into sixth grade that I wanted to do the splits and a backbend. I thought that it was really cool, and thought cheer was similar, so I just said ‘why not join cheer?’” Cerny said.

After her years of cheering in middle school, one would think that she was going to join the team her freshman year, but she instead made the choice to focus on other things. 

“I didn’t do cheer freshman year only because I wanted to see what else I could get into and see other options and maybe just take on something sophomore year,” Cerny said. 

One of her friends had actually brought up the cheer team to her, and it had drawn her back into wanting to cheer again. 

“I thought ‘oh maybe, might as well try it again,’ so I did and I ended up really liking it for the second time,” Cerny said. 

She had also said that once she started, it was hard to stop because of the progression you go through and how much you seem to become better at it once you trust in yourself. 

Cerny’s drive to become a better teammate has built her confidence and has challenged her to improve herself in different parts of her life. 

“You learn how to come out of your comfort zone because you’re seen by all these people in the crowd all the time. We go out there to cheer for ourselves, with our teammates, and for the crowd of people. And in return, the crowd will cheer for us,” Cerny said. 

Cerny talks a lot about team bonding, and how close the team really is outside of practice. They like to do a lot of fundraising so they can receive money for their team, but also so they can build trust in each other as a group off of the mat. 

“It can be hard sometimes when there is an unsureness that your whole team would pull through the same way you want to pull through, because the trust can seem shaky almost at times not knowing if the team will make the [same] effort like you are doing and want them to do, and it mentally can be hard to deal with too. That’s why we want to build on friendships with each other to make it easier for us to work together when performing,” Cerny said. 

She stresses that it is important to have trust in one another to be able to work together.

“We are all very comfortable with each other, and it’s better to feel bonded on the mat than have no trust in your people. I definitely think that we wouldn’t have felt as committed to our routine if we didn’t put trust in each other or if we didn’t cheer each other on,” Cerny said. 

Cerny believes that a big part of why her team made it to State is because of the faith they had in each other, and that it gave their performance even more emotion, and showed a different side of them to the judges.

“When the time comes [to perform], we all know that we need to push as hard as we can for the people that came to watch us, and to make our coach proud,” Cerny said. 

Although there are times when the team isn’t giving it their all, they still know that they can get right back up and continue working to improve themselves. 

“Sometimes we do get flustered or we do make mistakes, but at the end of the day we don’t let it affect our performance because we always strive to do the next thing better than the last,” Cerny said. 

But making mistakes isn’t even the difficult part of it all, it is the time that is being taken up in their lives that seems to be affecting them the most.

“I think that time would be the hardest aspect of it all, and it can be draining knowing that things are going too hard [becoming overwhelming], but you need to pull through it anyways and you know that if this doesn’t work out the way you want it to, you have to do it again or fix it, and it can be stressful,” Cerny said. 

And because of the lack of flexibility, some of the cheerleaders stress about their work schedules and having time to socialize with their friends. Despite these sacrifices, Cerny believes that it is all worth it in the long run. 

“Even though I know that my senior year will be harder than this year, and that I need to work even more to keep my spot next year, I know that I am going to do it again because I love having that feeling [of] accomplishment, and anyone else would,” Cerny said.  

“Our coach really wants to challenge us during all hours of cheer, and flaunts that we all have talent, and once we put them all together we make a really good team and look really good out there,” Cerny said. 

Coach Payton Scott is always looking for room for more improvement and is said to keep the team put together really well, even when he is being strict. 

“We know our coach will push us all the time, and if we think our practices or routines are easy, then he will definitely bump it up,” Cerny said. 

The team as a whole is always wanting to go above and beyond what they have done in the past, to prove that their team is the greatest in performing and teamwork. 

Cerny likes to see progress within herself and her teammates as the season goes on, and hopes to see more of what has been given all this season during this school year. 

“It’s not so much about doing the same things over and over again, we are always getting into new things and trying new things, so it’s always different. We always focus on doing better than we have before to challenge ourselves. And seeing us progress and finish stronger than we started, knowing that we all worked for that, is really exciting,” Cerny said. 

As their season comes to an end, Cerny reflects on how well her team has done, and how she has done herself. 

“Looking back at it makes me feel like I grew so much, and I like where I am at right now, and I hope that all my teammates can see how far they have come also,” Cerny said.