The ‘artistic’ side of cheering

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Why would anyone spend a large amount of time creating something that they know is going to be destroyed in seconds? Specifically, who would put a great deal of time and effort into painting something that is destined to be run through, stomped on, and torn to bits?

The Lakeland cheerleaders would – in the hopes of firing up their football team enough to perform the same stomping actions on the opposing teams this season, which starts Sept. 2.

&uot;We’re preparing for the season, Homecoming and Spirit Week,&uot; said Megan King, painting the banners she and her teammates hold in front of the football team before each game for the players to go crashing through. All around the Lakeland art room, artistic creations implore the Cavaliers to &uot;Pound the Bulldogs!&uot; &uot;Sack the Titans&uot; &uot;Raid the Braves,&uot; and other good old-fashioned slogans.

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&uot;I’d like to see the cheerleading team progress a lot and do better at competitions,&uot; King said. &uot;I feel like I have good leadership skills.&uot;

The girls learned a new routine at a gym in Virginia Beach last week, and plan on heading back in early September to perfect it in the hopes of using it at Southeastern district competition in October. On Thursday morning, all three of the city’s public school cheerers will perform at the school convocation at King’s Fork High School, as part of celebrating all three schools’ SOL accreditation.

&uot;We work better as a team,&uot; said Jennifer Blanchard. &uot;We need to work on strength and flexibility. You need both of them to be good cheerleaders. We want to be louder and have more spirit.&uot;

They’ve got a nearby provider of both.

&uot;Even though I graduated 10 seniors,&uot; said coach Latoya Floyd, &uot;I have a great bunch of girls that are coming together beautifully! We’re going to do great this year!&uot;