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Middle-school cheerleaders heading off to championships

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Squad raising money to help cover costs

By Molly Haines

After winning the CANAM National Cheerleading Championship in 2004 at Myrtle Beach, S.C., Maurice Bowling Middle School Cheerleader Coach Jenna Gray will take a new group of cheerleaders to the 2010 celebration cheer and dance nationals in Indianapolis, Ind.

Gray, an instructional technology teacher at MBMS, said this is the first time she has taken a group of cheerleaders to a national competition since 2005.

“Since none of these girls have ever competed in a national competition we’re going to Indianapolis for a smaller competition, than what’s in Myrtle Beach,” Gray said.

The current MBMS cheerleading team is made up of 21 sixth through eighth graders.

Gray said the cheerleaders will also compete in Grant County in December.

Gray said the MBMS cheerleaders are staying busy in preparation for the competition by going to Premiere Athletics in Lexington once a month.

“At Premiere they take lessons in gymnastics and stunts from a UK cheerleader,” Gray said.

Gray said some cheerleaders are taking extra steps to ensure a successful competition.

“They are all really excited,” Gray said. “This is the first time they’ve ever competed and some are taking extra gymnastics already. They’re really preparing for it.”

Due to a lack of funding, Gray said she and her assistant cheer coach, Lisa Allen, design all of the choreography for the team as well as mixing music.

The team recently began selling T-shirts, long sleeve T-shirts and hoodies to raise money for its trip to the competition Feb. 6, 2010.

The team will continue selling the Rebel apparel through Friday. The cost of a T-shirt is $10, a long-sleeve T-shirt is $15 and a hoodie is $20.

Order forms can be picked up and turned in at all school offices.

Gray said the apparel was created by a native of Owen County, Dawn Perkins, at Team Spirit in Lexington.