BHS cheerleading squad prepares for region competition

Published 7:03 pm Tuesday, November 4, 2014

By Taylor Bush

Competition cheerleading at Bainbridge High School is a sport that requires skill, dedication and passion from the girls on the squad. These students have spent long hours practicing for their competition season that will soon come to an end. Their fierce effort this season has brought BHS great pride.
The competition cheerleading squad is made up of 19 girls that are students at Bainbridge High School. The girls were selected for the team through difficult tryouts that were held at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. The tryouts test the girls’ abilities to jump, tumble, cheer and dance. All of these are skills, along with group stunting, are required to perform the rigorous competition routines. Although 19 girls are on the squad, only 16 girls compete on the blue mats at the competitions. Three girls serve as alternates for the team ready to perform the routine if necessary. However, the three alternates do not stay the same throughout the season which gives all of the cheerleaders an opportunity to compete.
Competition cheerleading demands serious dedication from the girls because of how time consuming it is. The team practices on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays after school and on Tuesday evenings. Each practice is at least two hours long, and additional practices are often called to take place on the weekends. In addition to these practices, all of the competition cheerleaders are also on either the junior varsity or varsity football cheerleading squads that cheer at football games.
Competitions that the squad attends are held on Saturday mornings and often last throughout the day. The cheerleaders have a limited amount of time to warm-up their stunts and routines before performing for the judges.
The routine this year was choreographed by Lea Hawkins with the assistance of Staci Sutton, the head cheer coach at FSU. This routine earned the squad second place at the first competition the girls attended this year. Throughout the season, the cheerleaders have competed in six meets and are preparing for the Region competition that will be held at Mercer University in Macon this weekend.
The competition cheerleading program has grown phenomenally thanks to the hard work of Lea Hawkins. Hawkins is a teacher at Bainbridge Middle School and was coach of the middle school squad up until this year. She coaches the competition as well as both football cheerleading squads at BHS. Hawkins has helped make the team into the “close knit family” that it is. Haylie Wilkinson who is a junior at BHS on the competition team says, “I love the group of girls that I had the opportunity to compete with this year. They are all so motivated, and I am very proud of everything we accomplished throughout the season. We started out slow but definitely finished strong.”
Bainbridge High School wishes the cheerleaders good luck at the upcoming Regions competition and fully supports the efforts of our team!

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