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Toma the ‘passionate voice’ the Tigers needed

Toma the ‘passionate voice’ the Tigers needed

At the end of the year, there was no doubt Allison Toma was one of the best cheerleaders in the area.

Toma, a senior at Edwardsville High School, earned All-Southwestern Conference honors.

For her accomplishments this past season, Toma is the Intelligencer’s MVP for EHS cheerleading.

“She worked really hard to develop new skills and set a good example to bring the team together,” EHS cheerleading coach Anna Schuetzenhofer said. “She’s just a really good leader.”

Toma was the leader for a Tigers cheer squad that placed third out of 25 teams at the IHSA Large Team Edwardsville Sectional. The top five teams from the sectional qualified for the IHSA state finals. EHS scored 90.43 points, while New Lenox scored 91.23 points to win the Edwardsville Sectional title.

The scoring system for cheerleading is based on form, perfection and execution. Tenths of a point can be the difference between the different finishes.

At the state finals in Bloomington, EHS finished in ninth place with 87.37 points in the Large Team category. Lockport won the Large Team championship with 96.27 points.

Edwardsville was the only school from outside of suburban Chicago in the Large Team division.

For the Tigers, their ninth-place finish is the program’s third-highest. They finished eighth in 2020 and 2007.

Edwardsville also took ninth in 2017 and 2010 and 10th in 2021 and 2018.

Schuetzenhofer said Toma was a leader in competition and outside competition.

“She was always trying to help new teammates,” Schuetzenhofer said. “I feel like the team wouldn’t go so far without that kind of person. She was a passionate voice when her team needed her most.”

At the Illinois Cheerleading Coaches Association (ICCA) Championships in Springfield, EHS placed second out of 10 teams in the Large Varsity category. Sandburg High School in Orland Park finished first.

EHS has finished in the top two at the ICCA Championships every year since 2015.

Schuetzenhofer has coached Toma for three years and has seen her take control of the leadership role the past two years.

“She just became more determined,” Schuetzenhofer said. “As an underclassman, she just did what she was expected, but she went above and beyond her senior year. She proved herself to be a role model, showing what hard work and dedication looks like.”

Even though she graduated this past May, Toma continues to work on her own and others’ cheer abilities, as she works for Xperience Chicago, a cheerleading choreography and skills camp.



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