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Red Devil cheerleaders stand out again

As sports seasons come and go throughout the school year, there is one sports activity that lasts year round: cheerleading.

Cheerleaders are chosen in the spring, practice all summer, cheer for pep rallies and football games in the fall, cheer for basketball games in the winter and start the whole process over again after tryouts in the spring.

Though the cheerleaders are considered to play a supportive but important role for many of their school’s activities, there is one opportunity in the year for them to stand alone as the team sport that they truly are.

Each summer, the Maplesville cheerleaders, both the junior varsity and the varsity squads, accompanied by their sponsors, attend an instructional and competitive camp hosted by the Universal Cheerleading Association at Auburn University. It serves as a cheerleader boot camp, if you will.

Mornings begin at 5 a.m. with drills, workouts, rehearsals and competitions. The nights usually end in the dorms with ice packs, heating pads and tubs of hot water full of soaking feet. It’s during this time that the girls get to use their cell phones for only a few minutes before it is “lights out” and they prepare for another day.

Last week, the Red Devil cheerleaders held fast to their school’s tradition as a competitive team by placing and winning in several categories, including the coveted Big Banana, both individually and as a squad. One of their favorite events this year was the evening the junior varsity joined the varsity, dressed as color-coordinated zombies to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and competed in a freestyle contest.

By placing second overall this year, the varsity cheerleaders once again won the opportunity to participate in the UCA sponsored pre-game show at a college bowl game this winter in Orlando, Fla. Congratulations and a big thanks to all of the girls and their dedicated parents, as well as Darlene Reed (varsity sponsor) and Crystal Ruffin (junior varsity sponsor) for all of your hard work and a job well done.