Area cheerleaders compete in rigorous competition

Thursday, February 6, 2003

Who says the only tough competition on a basketball court is the game itself?

I had the pleasure of attending the Regional Cheerleading Competition Saturday and was amazed at the level of competition in that sport. Yes, sport. These young ladies have to be in extremely good shape and have to concentrate diligently on their part in the competition. I arrived in time to see the 12 senior high teams warm up for their competition.

The teams were divided up according to their school's classification, the size of their squad and whether or not they had males on the squad.

Competition began and it was like seeing the National competition on ESPN. The squads had to remain on the mat or face deductions in their scoring. Each squad incorporated a dance routine, stunts, and cheers. It was amazing at the height these young men and women would reach on tosses by their teammates.

After each squad had completed their routines the stunt teams could warm up. These were usually made up of building teams from each cheering squad ( five or six members). The goal of each team was to get as many stunts in during the time allotted routine.

It was amazing to see these young ladies toss and build at a fast pace.

Two teams competed from the Buffalo Island area and did their schools proud. Manila was in their first year of competition and I have to say hats off to the squad, their captains Ashley Metheny and Michelle Stone, and squad sponsor Scottie Reinhart for a job well done. Manila placed third in the team competition and will head to state competition later this month. Spokespersons for all the squads thanked the many supporters that came out to cheer on the cheerleaders.

BIC placed first in their division defeating Bay. They will also compete at the state level.

I'm sorry to say that I was one of those people that thought cheering was an easy thing to do but I now have a whole new respect for these young ladies. They put in long practice times just like the basketball squads and they have their bruises, broken noses, aches and pains like all other athletes.


Good luck to all of you in state competition!

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