Senior dominates in cheer despite fighting diabetes

Demi Vigren, Staff Writer

Senior Kathryn Riccitelli is not only a super star on the football varsity cheer team, but she keeps up her dedication and commitment to the team while fighting against diabetes. Since she was three and a half, she became very sick and started to receive many shots. As a kid, she did not know what diabetes was and never acknowledged how it was going to affect her.

In seventh grade, she made the cheerleading team at HSE Junior High. She had started out with gymnastics, but decided she wanted to be apart of a school team and try out for cheerleading.

Sophomore year, Riccitelli made the varsity cheer team but only for basketball. Junior year, she tried out for football and competition cheer, and ended up making the varsity football team. Having diabetes while always on the go was started to become difficult for Riccitelli.

“Diabetes has affected my cheerleading, not drastically, but sometimes I have to sit out of practice or a game for awhile due to a low or high blood sugar,” Riccitelli said. “I’ve never liked that part because I don’t like being the reason a stunt can’t go up, even though its technically out of my control.”

Last year, the varsity team competed at the Indiana State Fair. Riccitelli was excited to perform and give it her all, but her body was not feeling the same.

“My blood sugar was extremely high, and therefore I wasn’t allowed to compete,” Riccitelli said. “That was really hard for me, but at the same time competing with a high blood sugar can be dangerous, not only for me, but for everyone else on the mat too.”

In the end, Riccitelli agrees that diabetes has also had a positive affect on her as well.

“[Diabetes] has probably made me more responsible just because I have to be so aware of everything to stay healthy,” Riccitelli said.

Not only is Riccitelli a successful athlete, but continues to tough it out and stay positive balancing diabetes and cheer.