Athlete of the Week: 10 questions with Jake Robledo, New Trier cheerleading
Jake Robledo is a junior in his second year cheerleading with the Trevians, who earned a conference championship on Jan. 13.
1. Do you have any premeet rituals or superstitions?
Personally, I don’t really do anything to get myself mentally prepared. As a team, we all like to take a spoonful of honey. That’s like a New Trier cheerleading thing. … In our routine, we have a cheer that’s in the beginning. No music, just screaming words, that’s only for like less than a minute. The honey basically helps with that and it tastes really good.
2. What do you want to do after high school?
I want to do cheerleading in college. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to major in yet, but I know I want to do cheer in college.
3. Why is that? What do you most enjoy about cheering?
For me, personally, I did eight years of gymnastics before high school. One of the events in gymnastics is floor, where you flip and tumble a lot. That’s my favorite thing about cheerleading. I’ve gotten to point where I’m really good at it. It’s also a way to destress … you’re so focused on getting a new skill. And it’s not all the athletic, physical side of cheerleading. Part of it is being a part of a welcoming team that I almost consider a family. It feels really good.
4. What is your favorite thing to do off the mats?
I’m a very active person. I like to work out or tumble or stunt — the part of cheerleading where you lift people in the air. Anything active. If I’m not in the gym, I just like to hang out with friends and listen to music.
5. If you were to compete in another sport, what would it be?
I’d probably go back to gymnastics or diving, which I did freshman year. Similar to gymnastics and cheerleading, in diving you are still tumbling, doing flips; there’s the acro side of it. With gymnastics, I like being part of a team like that. It’s very competitive in gymnastics. You see who could get hardest skill first.
6. What is your dream job?
As of right now, and this may change, but when you get into the world of cheerleading as sport and in college, at some point in time going to stop and I heard once you enter the cheer world you often become a coach or personal trainer. Becoming a coach or even a choreographer of a routine would be very cool — help to motivate young athletes at what you at one time loved.
7. If you’re in Walgreens with a couple bucks, what are you buying?
Probably an energy drink, so I can go to the gym and work out or something.
8. If you won the lottery, what would be your first purchase?
Either like a sports car or I am really into fashion and shoes. I would fill up a closet basically.
9. What is something people do not know about you?
I think a stereotype for cheerleading is that you are very outgoing and extraverted. But with people I am not comfortable around, I’m more of an introverted person. That would surprise people more than likely. When I’m minding my own business, I am quiet and a little shy.
10. How has this year been for the team?
The season is coming to a stop soonish, but overall this season has been great and in some ways not so great. During the summer we got a lot of incoming freshmen and got to teach them what we do, what the sports is about. And they are some of the most useful people on our team. They are going above and beyond and that is really motivating to everybody. It has been not so great because of COVID, obviously. Before this last (competition), two teammates who have important parts in our routine tested positive for COVID and it was really difficult for us. We had three or four days to completely change our routine. It was really challenging. The rest of the season with sectionals we changed some stuff in our routine and hopefully we are going to win state. Things are looking good for us so far.
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Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319