The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Athlete of the Month: Sophie Michnick

Photo courtesy of Sophie Michnick
WCHS senior Sophie Michnick hugs her teammate as they get ready to cheer for the first WCHS home football game on October 12, 2023.

Hard work, dedication and positivity are all adjectives that WCHS senior Sophie Michnick’s varsity coaches choose to describe her. As someone who grew up with a passion for cheerleading, Michnick has been able to develop into the passionate WCHS cheer captain that she is today.

“I started cheering in fifth grade after I became obsessed with cheerleaders on social media,” Michnick said. “I started watching the YouTube show “Cheerleaders”, which documents the world champion level six-team, Smoed. I began to dream of becoming a world athlete and had to start my cheerleading journey.”

With a passion beginning at such a young age and in such a unique way, Michnick has been able to pursue her young self’s passion by joining WCHS’ cheer team. Within the close-knit team, Michnick has been able to share her passion with her teammates in many ways.

“My most memorable moment as a WCHS cheerleader was States this year. We had worked so hard this season and the bond we had as a team was the best I have experienced as a cheerleader at WCHS,” Michnick said. “We hit our routine hard and everyone was so happy afterward. We may not have won the competition, but we achieved our team’s personal goal.”

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The bonds that are created with teammates is something that is irreplaceable. The long practices together and overcoming hardships as a team gave Michnik and her teammates an unbreakable bond. Through this created family and her genuine love for the sport, Michnick had the perfect amount of motivation and devotion that the team needed for this season.

“Sophie’s can-do attitude and willingness to do what’s best for the team has helped to create a great environment,” WCHS cheerleading varsity coach Sheila Saunders said. “She had the positive energy and dedication the team needed to succeed.”

The importance of a captain is being able to lead the team to their full potential. Michnick was able to use her dedication to push her team to be the best of their abilities while also balancing the social aspect of being a team.

“I have many roles as a WCHS cheer captain, including keeping the team focused, completing tasks we are asked [to do] and calling cheers at games. Keeping the team focused at practice, competitions and games is one of the most important jobs I have,” Michnick said. “Encouraging the team is part of that because oftentimes things go wrong, and it is important that my teammates do not get discouraged.”

Maintaining a positive attitude within the team is crucial for success, and Michnick plays a pivotal role in ensuring that. Because for cheerleaders, practices, competitions and football games can have unexpected and unwanted outcomes, spirits can inevitably fall. Michnick understands the significance of keeping spirits high and actively works to maintain a positive environment. Through encouraging words, consistent support and a resilient mindset, Michnick uplifts her team during discouraging times.

“Sophie is very positive and encourages the team to keep pushing and to do their best,” Saunders said. “She has grown so much, and it showed both at practice and during competitions.”

Saunders recognizes Michnick’s valuable impact on the team, praising her positive influence and motivation to be the best for her team. Michnick’s growth is noted in both practices and competitions, reflecting her dedicated leadership. This acknowledgment from the coach emphasizes her significant role in maintaining a determined team attitude and fostering overall improvement.

“I initially joined WCHS’ cheer team because of my passion and love for the sport from such a young age,” Michnick said. “I did not anticipate the reward of also forming lasting friendships along the way.”

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About the Contributor
Kendyl Groisser
Kendyl Groisser, Online Managing Editor
Kendyl Groisser is a senior and the Online Managing Editor for the 2023-2024 school year. This is her third year taking journalism at Churchill. She first started writing articles at her summer camp which influenced her to take it at school as well. During her free time, she enjoys playing on the Churchill Lacrosse team and hanging out with her friends.

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