The New Competitive Cheerleading Captains


Erika Spafford

LAKE MICHIGAN CATHOLIC – On November 15th, three senior girls became the new captains of LMC’s varsity competitive cheer team. Emily Zilke, Erika Spafford, and Brianna Allen were named by Coach Josh Fairbanks as their teammates cheered.

Emily Zilke has been a competitive cheerleader since her freshman year and has worked tirelessly every day.  She shows her utmost dedication and love for the sport at practice and at competitions.

Compared to her first competitive season, Zilke is now an accomplished flyer and has astounding flexibility skills.  From back-walkovers to back handsprings, Zilke can do it all.  

Because of her amazing skills, she was offered a scholarship to cheer at her dream school, Davenport.  As one of the returning captains, Zilke is determined to make this season one of the greatest ever in LMC history.

“Cheer is life. I plan to push the team to do their best so we can make it to regionals this year!”

Brianna Allen joined competitive cheer in her sophomore year and has done her best ever since.  Her jaunty personality and willingness to persevere made her a great addition to the team.

Considering the three years of experience under her belt, Allen is a skilled backspot, cheerleader, and team leader.  She learns quickly and is always able to catch a falling flyer.

Though she comes across as sarcastic at practice, Allen’s commitment to the sport and her team is evident every time she takes the mat.  Similar to Zilke, Allen will do everything she can to make all of the girls perform their cheers as perfect as possible.

“I’m already so excited for this season.  There is so much talent and I know we will go far if we work as a team.”

Erika Spafford became a competitive cheerleader her junior year.  Although she was reluctant to join the team at first with her older sister, she quickly fell in love with the sport and continues to give it her all.

Though initially athletically inexperienced, she did her best to push through and help her team succeed.  Because of her hard work, Spafford is now a base.

Coach Fairbanks had stated during practice that choosing captains this year was hard, especially since all five seniors showed excellent leadership skills.

“We have five seniors all of which have different leadership styles and personalities. Unfortunately with a team of thirteen having five captains wasn’t an option. Luckily our seniors all have a “team first” mentality and put themselves second. The three captains we chose are going to be great examples for our team, both on and off the mat, leading through not only their words but also their actions.”

Congratulations to the new captains and good luck to the competitive cheerleaders this season!

(Photo courtesy of Coach Fairbanks)