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RBHS cheerleaders put their hearts into it

By Brandi Miller

For the FCT


Red Bay High School varsity cheerleaders have been busy this summer.  Most any Tiger fan will agree the cheerleaders always do an awesome job performing and cheering the Tigers on to victory. But the kind of squad RBHS is doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes months of hard work and dedication on the part of the girls and their sponsor.

“We had 6 a.m. practices where we practiced on all of the different cheers, hip hop dance, band dance and camo dance,” said RBHS head cheerleader Jordyn McKinney.

In addition to the 6 a.m. practices, the RBHS varsity cheerleaders attended camp at the University of Alabama over the summer. This is always a highlight for the squad, and they always bring home several awards and ribbons to show for all their hard work.

“This year we placed third in cheer, extreme and game day,” said McKinney. “Because we have 16 girls on the squad this year, that put us in the large varsity competition category. We competed against 6A schools, so I was proud of our outcome, since we were competing against schools so much larger than us.”

Most of the cheerleaders will say cheerleading camp is the toughest week of the summer for them. They have demands on them just like all other sports at camp. It is a week when they are expected to work long, hard hours practicing what they do.

“We have to be ready physically and mentally to work hard when we come to camp,” said McKinney. “We get up bright and early then have to walk a mile to the indoor field, and then we have a full day of hard cheering, dancing and especially lifting. Lifting will definitely drain a lot out of you over the course of a day. But you have to be able to keep your spirit up the entire time you are there and never act like you aren’t happy to be there.”

The girls are also participating in daily competitions that are critical to the final day of camp, when blue ribbons are awarded.

“But even with everything and all the hard work and going from early in the morning until late at night, it was fun and exciting at the same time,” said McKinney. “We are always happy trying new stunts, cheers or a dance, and it is so great when we achieve what we set out to do.”

Co-Capt. Harlee Raper echoed McKinney’s thoughts, saying fans will be able to see great things from the cheerleaders this fall.

“You can expect new dances, cheers and stunts,” said Raper. “We have a lot of tumbling that is going to take place in our routines.”

Along with a bigger squad, the RBHS varsity cheerleaders also have a new sponsor for the 2016-2017 season. Ginger Cole, fifth grade science teacher at RBHS, will be taking the reins of the squad this year.

“I am looking forward to working with this talented group of young ladies,” said Cole. “Dana Robinson, who runs her own dance studio, will be helping us learn some new cheers and dances. We are excited to start this football season and anticipate another great year of Tiger football.”

Members of the 2016-2017 varsity cheerleading squad are: (seniors) Capt. Jordyn McKinney, Karla Robles, Isabella Fowler and Carlee Humphres; (juniors) Co-Capt. Harlee Raper, Carlie Lindley, Paige Hester and Elizabeth Markham; and (sophomores) Taylor Funderburk, Cailyn Leath, Emma Russell, Lexie Carnes, Reagan Kuykendall, Cara McNeil and Sydney Hardin.