Special to the LTN
As the first cheerleading squad in 14 years, a group of 12 girls has begun a proud new tradition of school spirit and pride at Lincolnton Middle School.
On Saturday, the team will compete in the Universal Spirit Associationâ€™s Charlotte Invitational at UNC-Charlotte.
When Lincoln County Schools made the transition from junior high school to the middle school setting, cheerleading was eliminated. But this year middle schools across the county are back to cheering, chanting, tumbling and stunting.
Lincolnton Middle School is especially proud of its cheerleaders.
â€œHaving cheerleading at LMS has made an unbelievable impact in our school,â€ said Principal Scott Carpenter. â€œSchool spirit and camaraderie is at an all time high. I could never have imagined that they would be competing in their first year of existence. This is another Lincolnton tradition in the making.â€
The girls requested permission to compete in the competition. In recognition of their talent, Carpenter and the teamâ€™s coaches, Kelly Reynolds and Stephanie Jacobs, agreed.
The team has worked to raise money by hosting school dances and sponsoring a Valentineâ€™s King and Queen. They have been preparing for the competition since November and practice every week.
â€œWeâ€™ve been practicing extremely hard and hope to keep the tradition alive,â€ said team member Mary Grace Graham.
Tracey Pauley has prepared a two-minute and 30- second routine for the competition. Chad Ried from Colfax of Team Legacy Productions compiled the music. They also began their season with camp by Damianne Albee and Cheer Plus Training Center.
â€œThe girls have worked extremely hard and deserve to be recognized for their dedication and ability,â€ Reynolds said.
The squad will face tough competition Saturday.
â€œWeâ€™re really excited because weâ€™ve started the tradition of middle school cheerleading (in Lincoln County),â€ said team member and captain Taylor Gazdeck. â€œWe want to show that it is a good thing that they put it back in. We want to prove that we can do it.â€
â€œThe team has worked so hard for this competition, and I believe that if success is determined by the ability to do oneâ€™s absolute best, then Lincolnton Middle School already has a lot to be proud of in their cheerleaders,â€ said Jacobs.