SOMERS, N.Y. - Cheerleading has come a long way since the old Gimme a T days. Today it is a competitive sport and the competitors are trained dancers, acrobats and gymnasts all in one.
The athletic ability and grace of these young people was clearly illustrated on Saturday, when the First Annual Cheer Invitational was held at Somers High School . The 10 teams comprising Conference B of the Westchester/Putnam/Dutchess/Rockland Cheerleading Coaches Association (WPDRCCA) cheered to a thrilled audience and were rated by judges on stunts, pyramids, tumbling, smiles, voices, projection and success in rousing a crowd.
Co-captains of the Tuskers Team, Nicole Reznick and Lizzie Syso, agreed that the team had done well, considering they had been practicing less than a month.
Its our first competition so theres lots of room for improvement, said Syso. We can only go up from here, Reznick added.
We went through our entire routine, she said. This included a dance, a cheer, some pyramids, and a lot of throwing people in the air.
Syso said, It was nice to be doing it in our own school, and agreed when Reznick added, Were really proud of the girls.
The co-captains agreed that cheerleading is excellent exercise. It gets you in shape. We go to the football games and every time they get a touchdown, we do as many pushups as they have points. Its so much easier to lift the girls if youve done your job, meaning, exercises.
Both Syso and Reznick are seniors and have been cheerleading since freshman days. Reznick started in third grade. Syso is not planning to continue in college, however, where she will devote her energies to studying engineering.
At the end of the day, the Somers varsity team finished in third place. The 7/8 graders won first place, as did the 5/6 graders. The varsity Tuskers know they need more practice to get to first place, but were happy to have the competition, said Reznick, because most people dont understand all that cheerleaders do.
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