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Oswego East Student Athlete of the Week: Alyssa Cabang

Dec 07, 2016 07:35AM ● Published by Zac Sadek

Gallery: Alyssa Cabang (pictured right) [0 Images] Click any image to expand.

Most sports fans are unaware of the time commitment competitive cheerleading has on a student athlete.  When they think of commitment, they think of football players in for early morning lift, or basketball players in a summer shootout.  

However, those sports pale in comparison to the length of the cheer season, which runs from tryouts in late spring until February.  Besides cheering for basketball and football season, these student athletes work tirelessly, preparing their competitive routines for competition.  Junior Alyssa Cabang embodies the spirit of that hard work, which is why she is this week’s student athlete of the week.

A 10-11 month long season is more than a commitment; it very quickly becomes a lifestyle.  It’s no wonder one of the things Alyssa loves most about cheerleading is the, “Environment, and working together towards the same goal,” she said.  Those goals include earning a spot in both the ICCA and IHSA state finals, something these athletes spend summer, fall, and winter season preparing for.

Over the past two seasons, the Alyssa and her teammate’s hard work paid off in the form of a 2nd and 3rd place finish in the ICCA state finals for the JV team the past two years.  This past weekend, as a member of the varsity, Alyssa and her teammates once again qualified for ICCA state.  These milestones for the cheerleading program would not be possible without the hard work, sacrifice, and dedication of so many student athletes.

In most other sports, teams have multiple contests against other opponents in which to improve and self-assess, a luxury not afforded to sports such as cheerleading.  Although the team has opportunities to practice their routines during halftime of other athletic contests, qualifying for state is usually a one time opportunity.  

Because the sport is so meticulous in its judgment and scoring of various stunts, formations, and timing, athletes have to ensure that the minute of details are practiced for extensive periods of time.

This type of attention to detail helps our student athletes in the cheerleading program not just on the mat, but in the classroom as well.   Alyssa, despite the massive time commitment that is cheerleading, has excelled in the classroom since her freshman year.  She has a 4.39 G.P.A., which is good enough to place her in the top 3% in the class of 2018.  Not only has Alyssa achieved such high marks, but she has done so through a rigorous course load that includes numerous advanced placement and honors classes.

One of those advanced placement classes, AP Biology, is helping to prepare Alyssa for her future in the medical field.  With her hopes set on nursing, Alyssa excels in all things science, as evidenced by not only her grade, but the strong praise given by her teacher, Heather Thomas.  

“Alyssa is diligent and meticulous about her work,” says Heather.  She goes on to add, “[Alyssa] is not afraid to figure things out on her own and ask questions when necessary, is polite and respectful of everyone she meets, which will give her the right tools to have a great bedside manner.”

Alyssa’s hard work is evident in every task she takes on, as head cheerleading coach Tiffany Scholle explained, “Alyssa is positive, persistent, and conscientious.”  

Alyssa’s ability to work hard helps set an example for her teammates and classmates, and she is always willing to lend a hand or words of encouragement when needed.  “[Alyssa] provides an encouraging voice and expertise to her teammates to help everyone improve and stay focused through our extended season,” says Scholle.  

Alyssa’s mother, Rochelle Cabang, echoes those sentiments by saying, “[Alyssa’s] always been a go-getter and will really work hard to achieve what she sets her mind to.”

All that hard work will pay off, both in the classroom and on the mat, as Alyssa continues working towards her dream of becoming a nurse, and the cheerleading team continues to pursue a state championship.  

When asked what advice Alyssa would give to future Oswego East Wolves, she replied, “Work hard and get involved, because it is important to do things in the short time you are here and not waste time.”  

We wish Alyssa and her teammates the best of luck as they compete in the ICCA state tournament.

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