Tuesday November 20, 2012

BRATTLEBORO -- Cheerleading is often overlooked in the sporting world, but sometimes it takes more than student parents and fans to give the hometeam that little extra morale boost to get them a win.

This is where Michelle Joy, BUHS cheer coach steps in, and kicks it up.

"Cheerleading is a bit of a different sport in the sense that we don’t have playmakers or people to look out for, necessarily," said Joy. "We work as a team and often the ones that are ‘seen’ the most are the ones in the air!"

Cheerleading at Brattleboro Union is a sport that requires all members of the squad to be on their game, all the time. It takes the whole team to coordinate the stunts and pyramids that make cheerleading fun to watch, according to Joy.

"Most of the work the team puts in is never seen by an audience until the very end of the season when we compete against other teams in Vermont," said Joy, whose squad will be competing at two regional meets and one state championship in February and March, respectively. "Our competition routine is two minutes and thirty seconds of action, filled with gymnastics, dancing, cheers and pyramids. Hopefully we will get a chance to perform this in front of the home crowd late in the basketball season during halftime."

When they aren’t competing, one can see the BUHS squad cheering on the girls and boys varsity basketball teams at most home games this year, performing during timeouts and halftime.


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The 2012-2013 Brattleboro varsity cheer team has two senior ladies that have been an integral part of the program for the last four years. Bree Andrews and Emily Dow have helped recruit and teach new members, have made them feel welcome and part of the squad, and are some of the best performers out there. "Andrews and Dow are both versatile members and I can count on them to step up to any role needed," noted Joy.

Junior members include Sage Ballentine and Cecilia Olsen, both strong bases that can be seen tossing girls in the air. And the girls that you will most likely see performing such gravity-defying stunts are sophomore Nicole Neff, and freshman Morgan Dow, both new additions to the BUHS cheer squad this year. These six girls are just part of a whole team that have been working since August on new skills to wow the hometown crowd.

Joy said she and her sqaud are excited to start the winter season and show off their new routines and cheers while supporting local teams.