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PLAS cheer team showcase competition routines

The Pike-Liberal Arts Varsity and Junior Varsity Cheerleaders held a demo day Sunday afternoon to showcase the routines and stunts they took with them to AISA/UCA camp at Huntingdon College in Montgomery.

The JV cheer squad will bring eight girls with them to the cheer camp over the week; half of them will be heading to this competition for the first time.

“They have never been to the camps with us or the do the competitions that we do there,” JV coach Angie Grice said. “They are very excited. We have been preparing all summer, trying to get ready and confident with what they will be doing.”

Since tryouts took place in February the JV cheerleaders have been in training for not just this competition but they have also been learning sideline dances for the upcoming fall sports.

“We really started practicing for this after Memorial Day,” Grice said. “We practice four days a week for two to three hours a day.”

The JV squad enters this camp and competition with the expectation to grow in to a solid unit that will propel them into the fall schedule.

“I think the biggest thing we would like to see out of these girls is to see them build relationships with one another,” Grice said. “We hope that both the varsity and JV roster build school pride amongst themselves and come back to the school and help spread it in the school body.”

The varsity squad enters the camp with a group comprised of six seniors, and head coach Natalie Lankford has pushed her squad hard to get ready for this week’s camp, including two-a-day practices. “We started that about two weeks before camp where we met before lunch and then we came back,” Lankford said. “You want to see your team win and do well, but for me as a coach I like to see the togetherness, and watch them grow together as a squad.”

Although the varsity squad has its fair share of seniors on the roster, they also have eight girls who have recently moved from JV.

“It always does my heart good to watch them mesh as a squad,” Lankford said. “They have done that. Camp gives them the opportunity to put on display what they have learned as a new unit over the summer.

“To me camp is about learning and getting better,” Lankford said. “It’s also about growing both together and individually.

The six members of the senior class for the Patriots represent a very special class for coach Lankford.

“All of them cheered as 10th graders two years ago, and they were my babies,” Lankford said. “That was the year I started, so they are very special class to me. They are very positive and very hard working. They have grown up through the ranks together and have been friends on the field and in the class room.”

Along with attending lessons and competing with various other schools, five Patriot seniors will try out for the all AISA team: Carter Senn, Elaina Strother, Patsy Ann Davis, Kelli Grant and Toni Sarris. More than 50 cheerleaders will compete for the 24-person squad.