By Olivia Drlik, H.H. Dow High School
Paige Lorichon has found love. No, not in a significant other, but in cheerleading. However, like many, this love had a rocky start.
“I was very shy,” Lorichon said, when describing her tryouts for cheer as a frightened freshman in a new school district. “I was nervous what everyone would think of me. Then during the fight song I yelled out ‘go raiders’ which was my old school. It was very embarrassing.”
Luckily for Lorichon, the watching coaches laughed it off and she impressed them enough to make the varsity team as a freshman who was new to the district. After meeting a few people on the team, she began to feel safer and transitioned quickly into a kind and open team member.
“I’m kind of a social chameleon,” Lorichon said. “I go around and fit in with every group.”
Since becoming that comfortable “social chameleon,” she has found a family in her cheer team and appreciates their love and friendship.
Apparently, they feel the same way about her. Lorichon has won two “Most Spirited” awards and two “Most Valuable” awards for her year spent with the team. Lorichon suspects that she won these awards because she was a supportive and positive friend.
“I am good at not getting involved in drama and just being a good friend,” Lorichon said.
Lorichon believes that she learned these skills in part from her grandmother, who taught her to be positive and inviting.
“She’s just really easy to talk to and start a conversation with,” Lorichon said. “She helps out a lot in all kinds of situations.”
Lorichon also learned to become so charismatic when she first moved to a different school district.
“My old school was really small, like 100 people,” Lorichon said. “You knew everyone. But my new school is much bigger, they will walk right by you like you don’t exist. You have to really put yourself out there.”
These skills have served Lorichon well, as she quickly found all of her closest friends within her team. Lorichon’s love of her team and her sport is almost beyond words; the best that this sweet-demeanored cheerleader could find were: “Cheer is life.”