Some Region 8 Athletes are Proving Cheerleading is a Sport

February 10, 2005 -- Posted 6:00 p.m. CDT

Jonesboro, AR -- Some Region 8 athletes keep rising to new heights.

The Jonesboro High School cheerleaders are bringing home the trophies. The squad placed 1st at 2 state competitions, 1st at regionals, 5th at a national competition in Dallas, and they also won the northeast region academic award.

"This has been the best squad at JHS that I've ever had," said cheerleading coach Caroline Crawford.

Captain Whitney Collins added they're sisters who just bond really really good.

"We are definitely athletes. We go through blood, sweat, and tears just like everybody else. We fall and get hurt just like everybody else, but we get back up," said Collins.

To be champs these girls prepare like champions. They spend about 24 hours a week at practice; stunting, tumbling, dancing, until everything hits together.

"You're lifting up girls that weigh 115 lbs and then you're catching them," said coach Crawford.

"In the summer we have camps and when school starts we start working on competition practices, getting ready for football games, pep rallies, there's always something going on with cheerleading," added co-captain Courtney Jackson.

And while the seniors are thrilled about their recent successes, coach Crawford is already thinking about next year.

"My juniors and sophomores want to do just as good next year, so we're ready," said Crawford.

That's something to cheer about.