Hinsdale resident Margaret Parks, 17, started as a cheerleader for the Hinsdale Falcons youth football team, continued at Clarendon Hills Middle School, and is starting her fourth consecutive year in the activity at Hinsdale Central.
Q. Why did you start with cheerleading in the first place?
A. I started mainly because I had friends already in the Falcon cheerleading program, and I thought it would be fun to try it out since the entire Falcon football and cheerleading program has always been huge around where I live.
Q. Did you get hooked on cheerleading right away?
A. I did. I liked doing something with my friends, and I like sports. I didn’t pay much attention to the games when I was with the Falcons, but in high school I really like to watch the games.
Q. You have dedicated your fall seasons to cheerleading for football and winter seasons to cheerleading for basketball. Do you have a preference?
A. Not really. When you think about cheerleading you first usually think about football; the whole Friday night lights thing. But I really like cheering for basketball, too. You’re closer to the action in basketball. The actual cheering really is pretty much the same for both sports.
Q. Is it difficult to pay attention to the games when you are there as a cheerleader?
A. I concentrate first on cheerleading and what we’re doing, but I’m able to watch the games, too. I enjoy the sports, and I know a lot of the boys on the teams, so that makes it fun for me to watch, too.
Q. Does the outcome of the game effect how much you enjoy cheering?
A. When you’re cheering for your school you really do care if the teams win or lose. It makes everything more fun when teams are winning, and people at school get more interested when a team is doing well.
Q. Do you have a preference of cheering for home or away games?
A. Home games are usually better because other than Lyons Township and Hinsdale South, we don’t usually get a big fan turnout at away games. It’s more fun when we have a lot of fans at the game and can lead them in cheers.
Q. Do you have a leadership role on this year’s cheerleading squad?
A. I do, as a senior. I’m not a captain, but I like to be a leader, and I feel I can do more as a leader this year because I am a senior, and we only have eight seniors this fall, which is less than we usually have.
Q. What makes for a good cheerleader?
A. I think having a good attitude is most important. You have to get along with each other and stay calm. Nobody likes someone who is bossy. You also have to be willing to keep on working to get better at doing stunts.
Q. You said you originally became a cheerleader because you had friends who were involved. Did that continue to be the case at Central?
A. Being in cheerleading has helped me make so many new friends. I was called up to the varsity for basketball when I was a sophomore, so that was with older girls, which was really fun.
Q. Do you plan to continue cheerleading after you graduate next spring from Central?
A. I would like to continue, but I probably won’t. It’s very intense in college and would take up too much time. I want to join a sorority and be involved with that.
Q. Where do you plan to attend college, and what do you plan to study?
A. I want to stay in the Big Ten (Conference) because I want to stay in the Midwest. I just applied to Iowa, and I also could see myself at the University of Illinois. My brother is at Iowa, and my sister goes to the University of Illinois. I want to major in education and minor in Spanish.Tags: Hinsdale Central
Hobbies: singing, playing the piano
Favorite musical artists: Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran, Jack Johnson
Favorite TV show: “The Bachelorette”
Favorite food: French fries, especially McDonald’s
Favorite drink: Dr. Pepper
Would like to travel to: Paris
Guilty pleasure: Snicker’s ice cream bars
Favorite candy bar: anything chocolate