Cheer team places third in DVC competition


Jay Deegan

Junior varsity cheerleaders Cianna Rist (left) and Shariah Grear (right) supports Joise Schretter (center) for a pyramid during their DVC competition at Central on Jan. 7. Central’s junior varsity and varsity teams both placed third at the competition.

Jay Deegan, Editorial Editor

Naperville Central’s varsity cheer team placed third at the DuPage Valley Conference (DVC) championships held Jan. 17 at Central.

The team was preceded by Neuqua Valley in first place and Metea Valley in second place. Central last hosted the competition in 2020. All schools in the DVC attended.

“Execution was our area of improvement but difficulty, we’re right up there,” said varsity head coach Samantha Szopinski.

After DVC, the team went on to compete in the IHSA sectionals.

“We qualified for state in 2022, and in 2021 it was virtual.”

The sectional competition Central participates in is made up of 15 teams, and every team in the state participates in a sectional.

“To be honest, we have the hardest sectional in the state. There’s about eight of the 15 teams that have scored very similarly as us,” Szopinski said.

The JV team placed third as well in the competition, though they will not advance to any sectionals.

“This group of girls that I’ve had from last year and this year, they’re so incredibly dedicated, and they work so hard,” Szopinzki said.“They take initiative, they do outside work, they’re constantly communicating and the new girls that have joined this year have joined in on that. Just the culture that we have as a program has been awesome.”

The team only graduated one senior last year, so it has stayed relatively consistent

“We all trusted each other that we knew our parts, we all persisted as a team,” said Ellie Madonia, a senior on the team.