Stunt prepares to take on new season

A new and growing sport at OPHS


Photo courtesy of Paige Lemieux

Stunt is a highly competitive sport that was introduced at OPHS three years ago.

Stunt is one of the newest and fastest growing sports in the United States, especially for women.

Stunt is a highly competitive nationwide sport that focuses on athletic and technical movements such as tossing, jumping, tumbling and forming pyramids.

Former Oak Park High School Head Coach John Lopez has led the stunt team since the program was introduced two years ago. The team is currently in the midst of rehearsing its routines for future games in the upcoming weeks.

“Our season is just starting to get underway right now. We finally just got a few more routines down,” Lopez said.

A typical day of practice begins with cardio warm-ups and stretches. The team first goes into strength conditioning in order to prepare for their challenging routines, then they spend the remaining portion of practice learning and perfecting routines.

Stunt teams compete by performing routines, which are judged based on the quality of execution and delivery.

“Every school knows the same routine, [and] each school will play each other in head-to-head combat. Whoever executes the routine most perfectly gets the point,” Lopez said. “It’s a lot of strategy.”

Unlike previous years, a large portion of this year’s stunt team is comprised of underclassmen. Captain Emme Creager is one of the only two seniors on the team.

“It’s been different than it has been in the past years, but it’s very exciting and fun to see all of us grow together,” Creager wrote to the Talon. “It’s so fulfilling to be a role model and someone who the rest of team can feel comfortable with [and] also look up to.”

Although stunt is a new sport to OPHS, it has attracted athletes since its inception. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, stunt has experienced constant growth throughout the years and has been labeled “one of the fastest-growing female sports in the country.”

“I’ve made a lot of new friends and learned lots of new skills with tumbling, flying and stunting,” freshman Chelsea Stone said. “Everyone has been so supportive of each other as we grow as a team.”

Like Stone, many others on the team are newcomers. Lopez said he believes that stunt is a sport for anyone who is dedicated to this style of athleticism.

“I pride myself on being a coach who can coach from the bottom up. So if you’ve never done any version of this sport in your life, I can teach you all of that,” Lopez said. “This is a sport that not everybody knows about, but if you want to try it out, I’ll make you fall in love with it.”