Cheerleading is not rainbows and polka dots

4:38 PM, Sep 13, 2013   |    comments
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STANDISH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --  Don't let the socks fool you... cheerleading here is not rainbows and polka dots. Practice begins with cardio.

Coach Leavitt conditions with her team and says, "as a group I think we push each other further."

And the amount you see here is just half of the cheerleading squad... Another 20 people are on a different team.

"We try not to turn anyone away but 40 is a lot for us," says Leavitt.

Cheerleading is the second largest sport at Bonny Eagle, behind football. For many it's a family affair...

There are 11 different girls that are sisters.

The school's athletic director, Kyle Hodsdon says, "in the Fall we have about 350 athletes and the cheerleading squad comprises about 40 of those. So that's a large number."

BEHS Junior, Karly Cannell, became a little scot as soon as she could.

"I'm sweating!"

The Bonny Eagle Cheerleading program begins in first grade.

"Getting a new tumbling pass to me is like... It's almost like getting a new car to me," says Cannell. "It's like all I do all the time."

And cheerleading has come a long way in being recognized as a sport.

Julie Bruni has two sons who play Bonny Eagle Football. She was a cheerleader in High School for South Portland.

"We literally did our cheers and maybe a few stunts but never the tumbling and the athleticism you see the girls have today."

Cannell confirms, "it's not ra ra... like, at all. We sweat. We work just as hard as any other sport. We just bring it all together at the end and look pretty too on top of it {laughs}."

Traditionally, the Bonny Eagle Cheerleading team does one push up for every point their football team scores, starting from zero for every touch down.

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