Can a winning tradition restart?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 30, 2005

On Monday, during their first official practice of the new year, Nansemond-Suffolk’s varsity cheerleaders were a long way away from the centerpiece of their cheerleading calendar.

With the competition part of the season not coming until the winter months, fall cheerleading is all about being ready to fulfill the traditional cheering role of adding to the excitement of Friday night football.

Well, not so fast, says squad coach Susan Rawls.

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&uot;This is, of course, a good start,&uot; she said, &uot;and it certainly helps anyone who will be on the squad in the winter.&uot;

Some of the squad will change between fall and winter seasons, but most of the 13 members, eight of whom are seniors, will be on hand when cheerleading becomes just as competitive as the Saints on the gridiron battling the Bulldogs or the Gators. Having a large number of experienced girls on the team is a very good sign, according to Rawls.

Katie Byrd, Tiffany Buckley, Caroline Sinesi, Katie Writtenberry, Katie Sawyer, Amanda Jones, Nadine Saint and Anna Park are the seniors, but it is so early that, &uot;we won’t even know about the captains until Wednesday when the girls will decide,&uot; said Rawls.

Courtney Johnson, Kristen Holland and Jasmine Rice are the three juniors; Tenth-graders Britney Cifers and Allison Sanders make up the rest of the Lady Saints.

The Lady Saints took TCIS varsity cheerleading championships in 2002 and 2003, so the competitive, and winning, tradition runs deep for NSA cheerleading.