Wednesday, November 24, 2010

‘Steerleaders’ Hosts Cheer Tourney

By John Larson

MAGDALENA – The Magdalena High School cheerleading team – the Steerleaders, as they are dubbed – placed third in the school’s first cheerleading tournament on Saturday, Nov. 20, in the school’s main gymnasium.
Belen High took top honors, followed by Tularosa, which is in Otero County, in second place. Floyd, which is in Roosevelt County, placed fourth.
Magdalena is coached by Jennifer Armstrong.
Magdalena assistant coach Chris Smith said Saturday that it was the Steers’ first time competing against a Class 4A school (Belen).
“Since cheering was accepted as a sport in the competitive spirit category by the New Mexico Activities Assn. in March, this is the first time for our high school hosting a competition,” said Smith.
The team regularly practices for two-and-a-half hours, four days a week. Team members are responsible for buying their own uniform, which costs about $350 each.
“We add weekend practices when we get close to a competition,” she said. “There are elements that must be included for the regional tournaments and for the state tournament.”
The state competition will be at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho on March 24 and 25.
Smith said routines for competition are the result of a three-way effort.
“One is choreography, one is music, and the rest is filled in by the team,” she said.
Magdalena High School principal Regina Lane said she hopes the cheerleading program at her school will continue to grow.
“I’ve always thought of it as a sport,” Lane said, regarding cheerleading. “It’s our hope to host these tournaments annually. It’s one more avenue for students to show school spirit.”

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