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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Athlete by Nature, Cheerleader by Choice.

Sylvie McConnell is simply a jump above the rest, but what goes through her mind while being up there?
Sylvie+McConnell+showing+off+her+skills+at+the+fall+cheer+showcase+before+her+state+performance.+Photo+by+Ryan+Renger.
Sylvie McConnell showing off her skills at the fall cheer showcase before her state performance. Photo by Ryan Renger.

Since childhood, Sylvie McConnell has immersed herself in the world of dance, beginning at the age of three. Her journey into cheerleading unfolded when she tried out for the cheer squad in her freshman year of high school, influenced by friends and the enticing appeal of the activity. Overcoming initial doubts Sylvie McConnell said “I didn’t think I was going to be good enough, but with all of my coaches support I got that out of my mind”.  McConnell’s  freshman year in high school marked a pivotal moment as she was selected for the state team and excelled in small stunts, an unexpected but rewarding experience. McConnell discussed the challenges of forming part of the state team in her freshman year and the subsequent growth and success achieved, both individually and as a team. 

McConnell at her Fall cheer photo session. Photo by Kimberly Mohler.

People usually think cheerleading is not a sport, but like Sylvie McConnell says “People judge,especially when they just see us sideline cheering for their team and just getting the crowd involved, but what they don’t see is all of the practice that takes, I mean not everyone can do four backflips in a row or lift a girl above their heads, it takes practice and risks”.Being considered as the main flier, McConnell shared insights into the potential risks and pressures associated with her role, acknowledging the trust placed in her teammates to ensure safety during performances,while personally avoiding severe injuries, McConnell recounted witnessing unfortunate incidents that have marked her high school cheerleading experience.

The effort and dedication she has poured into cheerleading, even on challenging days, contributed to her recognition as a key figure in various events, reflecting the team-oriented nature of the sport.Acknowledging achievements such as Shrine Bowl selections and all-state participation, the individual expressed gratitude for the friendships and memories gained through these experiences “I’m really grateful with my past self for getting me into cheer, and for not backing off” said McConnell. 

Sylvie McConnell is simply a jump above the rest. Photo by Ryan Renger

As McConnell anticipate the transition to college life,she expressed a preference for continuing cheerleading, influenced by the unique bonds formed and the gratitude she feels for the positive impact it has had on her life “The entire cheer team is a family to me at this point” said McConnell. While recognizing the potential sadness of not continuing dance after senior year, she appreciated the complementary nature of both cheer and dance, considering them integral aspects of their identity. As an upperclassman, McConnell embraced a leadership role, witnessing the growth of her teammates and cherishing the friendships forged through cheer.

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Ethel Navarro
Ethel Navarro, Features Editor
This is Ethel’s first year on The WEB. She is a cheerleader, she is Hispanic, and she was born and raised in Honduras. Her favorite things to do are drawing and cheering. She loves spending time with friends and family, just enjoying the moments.
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