The Perfect Two, one year later - – Rockford’s News Leader

The Perfect Two, one year later


Belvidere North High School students and staff continue to mourn the loss of their dynamic duo, Brenda and Thalia.

Brenda Gutierrez and Thalia Arrendondo have become known as the Perfect Two, inseparable friends and members of the Belvidere North cheerleading team up until this very night, last year.

The 16 year olds were on their way to cheer at a boys basketball game on their home court. But roads were icy. Their vehicle lost control, crashing into an oncoming car, both girls were killed instantly.

One year later, flowers and crosses still mark the site of the accident off of route 76 and Caledonia Road in Boone County.

"Anybody who's every lost somebody knows that the first year's I think the hardest," says Belvidere North Cheerleading Coach Tammy Rentschler. She says she had the pleasure of working with Brenda and Thalia during their time at Belvidere North. She let her team take it a little easier this year, with the understanding there would be many sad days. "The first football game was hard, going to camp was hard. but each little step we take we just get stronger," says Tammy.  

Jake O'Connor, a senior, hopes to cheer at a college in Texas after his graduation from Belvidere North. He says he has the perfect two to thank for his motivation.

"Brenda was always the one coming up to me and saying 'you can do that no matter what you do you can always put your mind to it. I know you can do it.' And it just pretty much pushed me to make myself a better person and better at what I do. they're a big part of my life and I'll always look back to them for advice, even if they're not gonna answer back," says Jake.  

The nickname 'perfect two' comes from a memorial video put on YouTube after the accident. It has over one million views.

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