Meet Terra Linda’s Cheer Team

Savannah Seidler and Jasmine Smith

Cheerleading at Terra Linda High School has created a sense of community and teamwork amongst the athletes. Terra Linda’s junior varsity and varsity Cheer teams are well-developed athletics programs consisting of all grades at Terra Linda on both teams. They cheer for Terra Linda’s football teams in the fall and continuing again this winter, they’ll cheer for the basketball teams. They also have a competitive team that specializes in stunting, which is specialized a routine that involves lifting the flyer up into the air for the performance, and they will be competing at Nationals, a championship competition where they compete against other cheer teams from various different surrounding schools. The competition team performs a short routine for judges and gets an ultimate score. This team must have at least six athletes to perform in front of the Judges. 

There are many technical components to cheerleading, especially in routines. Positions in cheerleading are complex and interconnected, consisting of bases, flyers, back spots, front spots and tumblers. These all require different skills and different people to perform these in order to complete the routine as a whole. The choreography is also done by the coach, Lyndsey Burcina, who has been coaching Terra Linda’s cheer team for two years. As a teenager, she did competitive all-star cheer for about 14 years and was competing at international level six cheer until she was 21 years old. 

Raquel Frankel, a Terra Linda senior and team captain of the cheer team, has guided her team for 3 years. She has done cheer on and off throughout her high school career and is on the competitive team. She helps manage both the competitive team and helps out with JV. Co-captain Layla Harris helps out the captain and coach. Layla is a junior and has been on the cheer team since she was a freshman as well, and has been doing cheer for many years.

There are three teams here at Terra Linda. The junior varsity team mostly consists of freshmen and sophomores who are newer, typically cheering for junior varsity football and basketball teams. The varsity team is mostly made up of athletes who have more experience with cheer. They cheer for the varsity football and basketball teams as well. 

The last team, which many students may not know about, is the Terra Linda competitive cheer team, which consists of 11 athletes. Being on the competitive team requires more dedication, commitment, and time. The people that work well together and show a certain level of diligence within their team have the option to be a part of the competitive team.  The competitive team competes twice throughout the year. Once virtually and then they go to the National Championships at Hollywood, in January 2023. 

Lyndsey Burcina

One of the most important things about Terra Linda’s cheer teams is the athletes’ connections and relationships that this cheerleading program has built for them. Shama Stropes, a sophomore who has been on both the Varsity and competitive cheer team since she was a freshman, said “Coming into Terra Linda as a freshman, it was scary, but knowing I had my friends on the cheer team made it a lot easier.” Most of the athletes feel like they have made some of their best friends through cheer and made relationships that have truly enhanced their high school experience. Being on the cheerleading team requires dedication and trust among the team members, and working together to complete routines requires a bond between all of the athletes.

Terra Linda’s cheerleading program builds a sense of community that is essential to its athletes and the teamwork that is required to make the teams perform as one provides the athletes with very valued relationships. The cheerleaders work extremely hard and the level of dedication and commitment that they have for the teams is extensive and more than one would think.