SSHS cheerleaders qualify for national contest
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
July 24, 2004 -- Sulphur Springs High School came away from the Southern Methodist University Cheer Camp held July 15-18 with seven ribbons and two team awards, as well as receiving the spirit stick nightly, eight All American honors, and their coach earning a top award.
Students receiving the esteemed All American Cheerleader title included seniors Kimberly Perry and Emily Gilbert; juniors Bre Ann Phillips, Lindsay Smith and Molli-Blair Johnson; junior Morgan Massey; and and sophomore Lauren Young. Junior Amanda Wade was also bestowed the title of All American Mascot. This marks the second time Johnson has received All American honors, according to her teammates.
"We had 15 girls nominated to try out for All American," team member Perry said Friday. "Nine actually tried out, and seven made it. Sally Smith and Shelby Suttle also tried out. To try out, you had to be nominated by [National Cheerleader Association] staff. They judged, too."
All 23 members of the varsity squad participated in the cheer camp, and wowed the NCA staff enough to earn a bid to NCA Nationals, which will be held in Dallas the last week of December. Overall, the team earned the spirit stick nightly for their dedication, while mascot Wade also earned a spirit stick herself. The SSHS squad also earned five blue superior ribbons and two red excellent ribbons for their cheering and chanting abilities, was named the "Top Team" among those varsity teams at the camp, and also received the "Stunt award." Coach Jerry Burks also was tested and was lauded with the prestigious "Coach Award."
"We worked as a team and started off [slow] but worked together and worked hard to win the awards," Perry said. "You have to have dedication and to work hard."
Perry said this year the varsity squad hopes to have a more active role in the community and to serve as role models for other students.
"This year we want to have a good reputation, be more involved with the community and earn support form the fans," she said. "We have already done one community service activity and are looking for more things to do."
The cheerleaders in May assisted Sulphur Springs Law Enforcement Association in cleaning up Mel Haven Cemetery, removing debris and trimming overgrowth and helping to upright markers and other items in the cemetery.
Any community groups or service organizations interested in having SSHS varsity cheerleaders assist them with community service projects in the coming school year, which begins Aug. 16, are encouraged to contact members of the squad or Burks for more information.