Cheerleading: Trio makes state debut

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, January 11, 2017
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Heading to Cowtown

HEADING TO COWTOWN – The Paradise cheerleaders will join Boyd and Chico at the UIL spirit championships in Fort Worth this week. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Preparing for their first trip to the University Interscholastic League’s spirit championships, Carson Martin and her fellow cheerleaders faced multiple obstacles.

“We lost our cheer coach and lost a couple of members,” Martin explained.

But Thursday morning at the Fort Worth Convention Center, the Paradise squad hope to put all the adversity behind them to try to lock up a spot in the finals against the other 3A teams.

“We’re definitely the underdogs,” said Jamie Talley.

“We want to end on a good note,” said Shelby Barclay.

Paradise will join Boyd and Chico as Wise County squads making their debut at the state competition that is in its second year as a UIL pilot program.

Chico will be the first 2A squad to take the arena Wednesday with its team of 10.

“We’re excited to be going,” said Chico sponsor Lisa McDaniel. “A lot of the teams we’re competing with we met at football games.

“It’s a sideline competition, and you’re judged on things we did at football games.”

McDaniel said teams making their debut this year had the advantage of seeing video from last year’s competition to help them know what to expect.

Boyd will take the arena Thursday to compete in the 3A division against Paradise and several other schools. Boyd will take a squad of 16.

“We have a pretty strong squad,” said Angela Hopkins, who is in her first year as a cheer sponsor. “Our captains Libby Bryans and Hannah Cherryhomes have been good leaders. We’ve been practicing since football ended.”

Hopkins added there is still some apprehension about the unknown.

“We’ve had some girls that have done competitive cheer, but that’s still a different animal,” Hopkins said. “We want to go and do the best we can.”

Johna Ford and Leanna Thomas have worked together as the new sponsors of the Paradise squad. The team of 15 with three boys helping with flags will take the floor Thursday.

Ford said the group has been working hard with most involved in other activities.

“We have quite a few in UIL, one-act play, basketball and some starting softball and track next week,” Ford said. “It’s been a lot of long nights.”

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