• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Staff

Catching up with the WCHS cheerleaders

WOODFORD COUNTY cheerleaders patrol the sidelines Friday, Sept. 15, at Community Stadium. (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County High School Lady Jackets' cheerleading squad is out in full force this fall. As they patrol the sidelines of home football games, the young ladies are preparing for their competitive season which is coming up in October. "Our team is very experienced this year." said Coach Heidi Hemlepp. "They are tremendous workers and have great work ethic. We have solid chemistry, and there is great respect amongst the team." The competitive season starts on Oct. 28 at Dunbar for regionals. "Our team will be coed with two guys this year," said Hemlepp. "The guys are fantastic tumblers. They are extremely strong." "I enjoy the tumbling," said Drew Richie. "It's a fun time being on the sidelines and I possibly will look into cheer at the collegiate level." The stakes are higher in November when the Jackets compete on the 9th at the UCA qualifier with a trip to Disney World on the line. "I like the competitiveness of the meets," said Katarina Morris. "I like the adrenaline and love the stunting. It's my specialty. I am looking forward to the UCA regionals and showing what we can do." With a trip to Disney in their sights, the team has been fundraising since tryouts this summer. "This year is the first year we are expecting to fly to Disney," said Hemlepp. "The bus travel wipes them out. It would be nice to be rested." Woodford has plenty of experience on the team this year. Many members of the team have five years or more of competitive cheer experience. "I still get nervous at the games sometimes after seven years of cheerleading," said Chelsea Call. "Football games are much more in your face than the basketball games, but it's in a good way." At the bigger competitions, the Jackets will compete in two different divisions. One division features a two-and-a-half-minute performance and the other features a performance that replicates being on the sidelines. "It's my senior year, and I'm excited to see what the season holds," said Meleah Hysell. "The people and the friendships are what I will miss the most when the year is over." Each season, the grind of practice and schedules take its toll, but the girls all have positive outlooks on the season ahead. "It's a lot of practice and very time consuming but to do this you have to be dedicated," said Bonika Todd.

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