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Four Cheers for the Big Easy

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January 20, 2012 by wcobserver

WEST FORK – More than just Mich- igan and Virginia Tech and their fans were at the Sugar Bowl. Four West Fork Middle and High School Cheerleaders traveled to New Orleans to participate in the football game’s halftime show on Jan. 3.

During the second week in June, West Fork Cheerleaders attended a camp at the West Fork Activity Center; the camp was hosted by B2 Cheer and Dance. Over the three day period, the cheerlead- ing teams learned their competition routine, dance and cheers. They were also evaluated on maneuvers such as jumps, tumbling and dance. Seventeen senior high and junior high cheerleaders were given an audition for the Dream Team, which is comprised of 350 cheerleaders from 80 schools throughout the state.

Out of the eight, four girls earned the money to make the trip to New Orleans and to make a chance of a lifetime come true. The four girls that earned this op- portunity were, Mary Beth Andrews, Autumn Gaesswitz, Ashlyn Stinnett and Tori Seaman. Over the four-day ad- venture the girls were treated to a New Year’s Eve party, learned their halftime routine and experienced the thrill of being in a major stadium like the Superdome, said Cheerleading Coach Debo

rah Hughes. The 4 day event consisted of extreme physical activity, dance and stunt skills.

“The performance was amazing,” said Mary Beth Andrews. “There were so many people there and the crowd was loud. The Dome was huge. It was over- whelming when we walked in.” Andrew said she really enjoyed seeing New Or- leans for the first time and had her share of the local delicacy, benious. “I had like a ton of them the whole time I was there,” she added. “That was definitive- ly my favorite part of New Orleans.

Like Andrews, the most exciting thing for Ashlyn Stinnett was the Big Easy, itself.

“The Superdome was huge,” she said. “I just saw it on TV the other night. It’s just weird knowing I was in there, per- forming.”

The game was televised by ESPN and attended by 64,512. The cheerleaders said they learned their performance routine via internet and then rehearsed with the cheerleaders from the other schools in New Orleans the week before the Sugar Bowl. The Sugar Bowl appear- ance isn’t the first time this cheerlead- ing team has gotten national exposure.

The West Fork High School Cheerlead- ers traveled to Orlando in February of 2011 to compete in the National High School Cheerleading Championships and placed 10th in the small varsity di- vision. They also won first place in the Arkansas 3A State Cheerleading Cham- pionship.

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