LAKEVILLE, IN. – After nominations from winter head coaches, and an open vote on www.lavilleathletics.com, cheer crew member Siyara DeLaurelle and wrestler Alex Cartwright have been selected February Athlete of the Month.
The LaVille Athletic Department and Lapaz Lions Club sponsor the monthly honor.
DeLaurelle received 55% of the vote, while basketball player Natalie Gonzalez collected 45%.
In the male voting, Cartwright earned 61%, while basketball player Luke Beehler received 28%, and cheer member Gage Sampson 11%.
DeLaurelle feels that the addition of male lifters has help propel LaVille Cheer forward.
“This year our program evolved a lot from having our male lifters join,” said DeLaurelle. “As well as hosting our very first LaVille Cheerleading Invitational which we hope will become an annual event.
“Personally, I learned a lot and developed more skills as a base and working with different bases for different stunts,” continued DeLaurelle. “Everyone is willing to try different spots which continues to allow our team try a lot of new things.”
The junior cheer member appreciates the nomination from coach Kelsey Miller.
“It means a lot that I was nominated by my coach because she never fails to make sure each of us on the team feel that we are appreciated and very welcomed on her team,” said DeLaurelle. “It just gives you a reminder that you are doing good.”
Like other student-athletes, everyone has a role on the team and DeLaurelle discusses her role and a little more in-depth look at cheer.
“My role on the team is a base and that is where my skills show the greatest and it ensures that our stunts will be safe,” she said. “It takes a lot more than just holding a foot up in the air or standing on peoples hand, everyone has to communicate and have proper grips and technique. Each person plays a very different yet crucial role in each stunt.
“Since the day that Coach Kelsey was hired almost three years ago she has had the goal of having our team compete,” recalled DeLaurelle. “This year it finally happened and it could not have gone better! We have been practicing legal stunts according to the UCA handbook, which helped us to easily put a routine together without worrying about breaking any rules. This competition has made us so excited for competing in the future.”
Cartwright made a deep run in the Indiana High School Athletic Association state wrestling tournament at the end of the season. The senior heavyweight took a 32-0 record into the state championship bout before suffering a 2-1 loss. Still, Cartwright earned a runner-up finish and red medal for an outstanding 32-1 season.
“It means a lot because just knowing that I had a lot of support and that I was able to make it that far in the state tournament,” said Cartwright when he learned he was the February male athlete of the month recipient for his efforts.
Wrestling can be a demanding sport with conditioning, cardio work, mat, work, skills and technique work. So how was Cartwright able to balance being the student-athlete?
“Well mostly I try to get school done ahead of time because wrestling is so physically demanding,” said Cartwright. “You really don’t want to do too much after practice. So I wanted to try and get it done as soon as possible.”
Cartwright handled his run through not only the state tournament, but also the entire season with humility, pride and a great deal of sportsmanship.
“In wrestling you are a community,” explained Cartwright. “You don’t want to disrespect your opponent. Everyone has been there before. Everyone has won and everyone has lost. The last thing you want is to go out there and think that you are any better than your opponent. It’s about respecting others. You show emotion off the mat. On the mat, you show respect.”