Everyone can cheer


Adam Reckamp

In May 2012, Huntley High School varsity cheerleader Lexi Gardocki approached the Huntley Cheer Association with an idea for a new cheer team, a special needs cheer team. The board agreed to the idea and Gardocki set out to form the team.special needs cheer

With the help of fellow varsity cheerleaders Lexie Morel, Alison Gentry, Kate Baier, and adult coach Lesli Melendy, Gardocki set out to raise awareness for the team. They sent flyers out through school and the physical therapy places the girls visited, and posted information on Twitter and Facebook.

The season started in June 2013 after four girls had joined the team. The team had one practice a week where the girls were taught 6 sideline cheers. For the first part of practice, the coaches would sit down with the girls and work on the words to the cheers. In the second part they would go over the motions. The coaches even videotaped themselves doing the cheers so the girls could practice at home.

The girls cheered with the state champion sixth grade team, which Gardocki and Melendy also coach. The girls also performed a routine at the Huntley Fall Fest and a Marlowe Middle School basketball game.

The team will be cheering again next year, but for Huntley Youth Football.

“There are currently 4 on my team. We are going to do it next year, but through Huntley Youth Football because Huntley Cheer Association is competition only. Next season will actually be free of cost to sparkle and they will get their own uniforms. I’m very excited,” said Gardocki.

Gardocki decided to form the team because of her great experiences in cheer.

“I wanted to start this team because I think that everybody should be able to have the experience with cheerleading I have had. I made my best friends through cheerleading and I think that every little girl should have that same opportunity, no matter their condition,” said Gardocki.