Lainey Huth is always there to provide support, whether it’s in an emotional manner in cheering for the football and basketball teams at Hinsdale Central, or in a physical way by holding up a fellow cheerleader during a cheer.
The 17-year-old senior has been a cog in Central’s fall and winter cheerleading squads since she started high school.
Huth’s interest in being a cheerleader began early. Maybe that’s not surprising in light of the fact her mother, Corey, was a cheerleader at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
“I think my mom being a cheerleader probably has a lot to do with me getting interested in it, but she never pressured me at all to get involved in cheerleading,” Huth said. “I just like supporting teams. I have two younger brothers and have watched teams they’ve played on.”
Corey Huth actually tried several years ago to talk her daughter out of pursuing cheerleading.
“When she was really little, I tried to get her to be a swimmer because they wouldn’t fall,” she said.
Still, the former college cheerleader thinks her daughter has done very well for herself.
“She’s very enthusiastic and interested in the school and the games,” Corey Huth said. “She has good technique and is very strong.”
Lainey Huth started as a cheerleader for a youth football team while in the fourth grade in Michigan. She and her family moved to Hinsdale two years later, but that didn’t come close to putting an end to her cheerleading involvement.
“I got involved with the (Hinsdale) Falcons (youth football team) when I moved here and just continued when I got to high school.”
Huth impressed the cheerleading coaches at Central enough to earn a spot on the JV squad as a freshman and with the varsity group as a sophomore. She was a team captain in the fall for the 2013 football season.
“Junior and senior years have been different for me because I didn’t get to cheer with my friends before that, because I was with the older girls,” Huth said. “It actually was a really good experience for me being with the older girls and getting to know them and learn from them.”
Huth said she has had moments along the way during which she hasn’t been thrilled with cheerleading. But she never seriously considered quitting or taking a break.
“I had to decide in fifth grade between soccer and cheerleading, but that really was the only time I had to make a choice,” she said. “I love the enthusiasm in cheerleading. I did miss soccer, but I’m glad I made the choice I did.”
Huth said it requires a lot of hard work and dedication to be a good cheerleader. Central’s varsity squad practices every day during the school week, most often after school, but sometimes at 6:30 a.m.
“You have to be strong and flexible,” Huth said. “We do jumping, running and conditioning, and it can be dangerous.”
Huth said she has experienced “three or four” concussions from cheerleading mishaps.
“I’ve had someone fall on my head, and I fell and hit my head on the floor,” she said.
It’s just all part of the process, she said.
“I really enjoy supporting my school and our teams,” she said. “I like the games, and I love cheering for friends on the teams. I enjoy watching the games more when my friends are playing.”
Huth’s cheerleading coach at Central, Kristen Bronke, said Huth would be greatly missed after graduating.
“Lainey is extremely dependable and knowledgeable,” Bronke said. “She’s very hardworking and always goes the extra mile to help. She’s been very involved in helping to create new stunts and dance. She’s been a big contributor to the program.”