A first for Stagg cheerleaders

After win at Shepard, team 'Charging to State'

By Jeff Vorva

Stagg's competitive cheerleading team made history on Dec. 16 when the Chargers won the Illinois Cheerleading Coaches Association Invitational at Shepard High School.

First-year coach Bridget Guzior, a former cheerleader at Sandburg High School, said the Chargers have been going to this invitational for some 10 years and never won it. Not only did the Chargers win the large-school division this time, they were designated Grand Champions as their 90.89 score was the best in any division during the competition.

The charged-up Chargers celebrated.

"They were crying and tackling each other on the floor and hugging when they found out they won," Guzior said. "One of the people at Shepard said 'you guys have been coming here a long time and this is the best you have done.'"

Guzior said she likes the makeup of this team.

"I think the potential was always there," Guzior said. "They needed to make sure they knew how good they were. We attended camp over the summer. We bonded as a team. Now these girls could call each other any day of the week. They are all friends. We took the drama out of the sport."

The coach added that the 90.89 is not far off from some of the elite scores in the state tournament.

Members of the squad are Delaney Harty, Alexa Kruszynski, Maggie Hynes, Paige Pierson, Brittany Klimas, Melina Sapokaite, Danielle Klimas, Morgan Minik, Vanessa Minik, Gabbi Zeimitis, Madison Busch, Heather Watson, Kayla Hass, Tiara Patterson, Attia Huizinga, Brittany Fane, McKenzie Busch, Kimberly Williams and Marissa Campbell.

The Chargers qualified for the ICCA State Championships, which will be held Feb. 9-10 in Springfield.

The Chargers are also hoping to make some noise in the Illinois High School Association postseason as Guzior said the school has never qualified for state in that affiliation.

"We say we're charging to state," Guzior said. "We're doing well. We're one of the smaller schools in the large division and we're keeping up with the big dogs."

Chicago Christian also qualified for the ICCA state meet after a third-place finish in the small division at an event in Pontiac on Dec. 15. Worth's Savanna Wawrzyniak is on the team.