Ipswich High School Cheerlading

Hannah Janvrin and Sarah Janvrin, Ipswich Varsity Cheerleading

The 2019 Ipswich Tigers Cheerleading Team has started the year off strong. The team works everyday to strive to reach the top. An everyday practice involves first taking out the mats and stretching until the coach arrives. Then, depending on the day, the team will either drill certain skills, stunts, and sections of the routine or  warm-up and run the routine “full out”. Every practice, as a team, the cheerleaders work tirelessly to be better than the day before. 

Captain Erika Noftall says, ‘’The cheer team’s hope for this season is to be proud of who we are and what we do each and every time we perform. Of course everyone wants to win, but we believe cheerleading is so much more than a trophy.’’ Erika and her fellow captains encourage the team to leave all of their energy, hard work, strength, and pride on the mat. To go home and have zero regrets is what defines success for them. Furthermore, Erika believes cheer isn’t just any sport, and she has the experience to back up this belief: “Being a three-sport athlete, I can personally say that cheerleading is different from other sports because there is an element of family. Every member of the team feels as though coming to cheering every day is like going to their second home. It is amazing that I and all of my teammates feel as though cheerleading is a place we can go to feel safe, welcomed, and trusted.  We are in an environment where everybody works hard and is respected while doing it.” 

Cheer is not only a sport in which everyone works as a team and is dedicated, but it is also a sport that brings each member joy in spite of how mentally and physically challenging it can be.  As individuals and as a team, the cheerleaders have come so far since day one and continues to progress as the season goes on. Erika emphasizes, “The main focus for each and every cheerleader is the team and what we work for; everything else is left on the floor.” 

Being a cheerleader isn’t just about shaking pom-poms and looking pretty on the sidelines of football games. The team works and trains so hard everyday after school and on the weekends to make sure the routine is as close to perfect as possible by competition day. Competition day is nerve-racking, and it makes all team members anxious to watch others perform while they wait for their turn. Although the intensity and nerves grow as the team approaches performance time, the captains do a great job making sure everyone feels confident in themselves. Five minutes before every performance, the whole team sits down and everyone closes their eyes to visualize every part of the routine while the music is playing. This imagined run-through helps calm everyone’s nerves. 

Coach Sherri Blomister has guided the team for the past four years. She recognizes “that the team all wants the same thing. They all strive for success.” Sherri loves seeing her athletes grow and learn over their career: “I enjoy watching and teaching them to take pride in something they love. I enjoy pushing them through obstacles they run into and in turn having them learn the outcome is always worth never giving up.” 

In conclusion, Ipswich Varsity Cheerleading has been around for many years. Every year, its members put forth the hard work and dedication to achieve success, often making it as far as Nationals. In fact, two years ago the team competed in the National Cheer Competition in Orlando, Florida.  With multiple wins under their belts, this group that is more like a family than a team, hopes to achieve even more success this year.