Leila S. Case: Let us applaud, praise cheerleaders

Published 9:38 am Monday, July 23, 2018

Let’s give a hearty cheer for cheerleaders — not just in our local schools but everywhere. Cheerleading squads encourage applause from the fans at your favorite high school or college sports events and they should be applauded for the positive atmosphere they create at games from Little League to professional.
Cheerleading is a good experience for young people because it teaches one how to work together as a team — one of life’s best attributes. They come together to perform precision moves. Of course, they must have good coordination to even qualify to try out for the squad — something I never had and I still don’t.
My daughter Margaret was a high school cheerleader and still has her uniform, including the shoes and sweater with the big AHS on the front. During high school Margaret tried out for cheerleader each spring and we both agonized until we heard the results. I recall waiting with baited breath for her to tell me the results. Thankfully, she made the team. If not I think we would have had to bury her.
Lori, my stepdaughter, was a cheerleader, too; however, I didn’t know her at the time nor that one day her dad and I would marry. Strange how life has twists and turns and change happens in the blink of an eye. Lori’s daughter, Loren, like her mom, was a cheerleader as well.
All this to say that Southland Academy’s 2019 varsity team, coached by Susan Welch, and junior varsity cheerleaders, coached by Shay Torbert, returned home from the UCA Camp at the University of Georgia in Athens with every award, prompting Welch to say it was one of the best camps ever.
Seniors Anslee Barnes, Mary Catherine Dean, Morgan Deriso and Kara Hubbard were chosen to be on staff at the UCA Camp next year. Congratulations.
Other cheerleaders were juniors: Ellie Barnes, Maddy Copeland, Leslie Anne Farr, Emma Griffin, Sarah Murphy, Parker Reeves and Halley Kate Turner; sophomores: Jordan Brehm, Carson Clements, Addison Starlin and Georgia Torbert and freshman Lydia Anne Love and Averi Smith.
The varsity squad captured the leadership award, top spirit award, “the Banana;” the overall superior trophy, and placed first in band chant, sideline chant, rally routine and second place in cheers. Four received the All-American award for the second consecutive year. Mary Catherine Dean, Morgan Deriso and sophomore Jordan Brehm were honored with the “Pin It Forward” leadership award.
Congratulations — good team work girls.
Elsewhere, Lydia Rogers, English professor at Georgia Southwestern State University, joined two high school mates Lee Jones of Atlanta and Erin Horovath of Philadelphia in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, N.C., last week. The trio, good friends since they were students at Deerfield Windsor in Albany, enjoyed sunning, surfing and paddle boarding in the Atlantic as well as touring Wilmington’s historic district, which Lydia said is very impressive.
Anne Isbell, director at Lake Blackshear Regional Library, has returned from a national library conference in Las Vegas, and Lori and Andy Shivers are home from Navarro Beach, Florida, where they cheered for their granddaughter, Jeanna Kate Shivers, and other members of her softball team, Boon, in a week-long softball tournament, in which they did well. Jeanna Kate’s parents, Casey and Jami Shivers, and sister, Clara Grace Shivers, were there leading cheers.
Congratulations to Anthony and Kendall Dragoin who celebrated their wedding anniversary last Thursday; and happy birthday to Faith Pinnell, Libby Hammack, who turned two this past week, and Lachlan Herndon is celebrating his first birthday today.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.