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Middle school cheerleaders to compete

HEATHER WILSON
Special to the LTN
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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 Association’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.
“Having cheerleading at LMS has made an unbelievable impact in our school,” said Principal Scott Carpenter. “School 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.”
The girls requested permission to compete in the competition. In recognition of their talent, Carpenter and the team’s coaches, Kelly Reynolds and Stephanie Jacobs, agreed.
The team has worked to raise money by hosting school dances and sponsoring a Valentine’s King and Queen. They have been preparing for the competition since November and practice every week.
“We’ve been practicing extremely hard and hope to keep the tradition alive,” 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.
“The girls have worked extremely hard and deserve to be recognized for their dedication and ability,” Reynolds said.
The squad will face tough competition Saturday.
“We’re really excited because we’ve started the tradition of middle school cheerleading (in Lincoln County),” said team member and captain Taylor Gazdeck. “We want to show that it is a good thing that they put it back in. We want to prove that we can do it.”
“The team has worked so hard for this competition, and I believe that if success is determined by the ability to do one’s absolute best, then Lincolnton Middle School already has a lot to be proud of in their cheerleaders,” said Jacobs.

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