High schools compete in cheer regionals - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

High schools compete in cheer regionals

January 31, 2004

Sylvester- As each team performs, they try to execute flawless routines and show the judges their athletic ability.

"We've kind of begun to move past that idea that cheerleading is just an activity. It is still a support group. We cheer for our football teams and our basketball teams, but the competitive side gives our cheerleaders an opportunity to be seen as athletes and that validates them as being capable of doing great things," says Sue Youngblood, Worth County High School coach and competition coordinator.

Those great things are what judges are keeping their eyes out for.

"Great tumbling, great difficulty on stunting, high, sturdy stable...those are the kinds of things you look for. Then, what they can do in the air. Your fliers, the fliers get to show off. The bases have to be so strong," adds Youngblood.

Coach Deborah Evans says it's a combined strength that won her Early County team the title of Region 1-AA champs.

"Their ability as a team. They stick together, they support each other and that's what it takes," she says.

But, the driving force for the new Region 1-AAA champion team from Fitzgerald High School is a team member who wasn't able to make it to the mat.

"Sara Beth. She was a member of the team and was in a real bad car accident this past summer, in fact when she left cheerleading practice. She has had to struggle back and she's been our motivation because we just love her," says Fitzgerald High coach, Angela Davis.

Whether it's one member or the whole team these champs are banking on their strategies to lead them straight to the top.

The first place teams from each division will advance to the state competition. All second through 4th place teams will go head to head again next weekend for another chance at a the state finals.

Posted at 4:50 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com