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Cheerleading squad prepares for national championship

By Asheli Atkins
On September 14, 2006

  • The Panther cheerleading team is one of three black colleges that received a bid to the national cheerleading championships. Lionel Mosby Jr.

Over the summer the Prairie View A&M Cheerleading squad won a bid to nationals with their win at the 2006 SMU-NCA spirit camp at Southern Methodist University.The NCA spirit camp competition was held at SMU in Dallas, Texas. This camp lasted from July 29 until Aug. 1.

Over 38 schools attended including schools from Hawaii, New Mexico, Central Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

This competition was not a regular cheerleading competition. The scoring was based on the teams' growth from the beginning to the end of the camp.

"It was more of a learning situation, they go by the skills that you pick up," said Coach Jim Price.

The cheerleading squad began preparing for this camp on July 17. They met every other Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Even at the camp they continued to learn new stunts, to add into their routines.

There were 7 teams that won out of 38. Oklahoma State University and Stephen F. Austin were among the winning teams.

"I did (expect to win) but just because I expected it doesn't mean we would win," continued Price. "They don't tend to give bids to black schools."

Besides Prairie View the only other black schools that have received a bid to the national competition are Southern and Grambling.

"It felt good, we came a long way," said cheerleader Tan Crawford. To prepare for the next competitions the cheerleaders practice Monday thru Friday in the new gym.

"I am going to do my drills that allow me to stay tight in the air and improve my tumbling," said Crawford, when asked how she plans to stay prepared.

The university cheerleaders will be attending the black nationals which will be held the second week of February in Atlanta, Ga.

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