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Squad busy preparing for fall

A lot of work — that’s what is described as being a typical summer for the Red Level cheerleading squads.

For two days per week since the middle of June, the RLS cheerleaders have practiced in two-to-three-hour sessions with workouts first.

“They are responsible for teaching younger cheerleaders new cheers, and making signs for the upcoming pep rallies,” RLS cheer sponsor Elisa Edson said. “Those take a lot of prep time.”

Edson said the cheerleaders plan far enough in advance for each football game, and how the locker rooms and gym will be decorated before school starts.

In addition, the cheerleading squad participates in camps and events during the summer.

“For the last two years, we’ve paid a company to come here and give us a camp,” Edson said. “You get more individualized instruction when you are a host, rather than going to a camp at Troy or Auburn.”

At this point in the summer, the RLS cheerleaders will finish going to camps, and put the finishing touches on the pep rallies that are planned.

“Hopefully, we’ll be ready for the first game,” Edson said.

Another big part of a cheerleading squad’s life during the summer is fundraising.

The RLS cheerleaders will be buying new uniforms for the 2010-11school year. Edson said that the uniforms cost approximately $200 each, which doesn’t include shoes and bags.

The varsity squad is composed of 10 girls — three seniors, five juniors and two freshmen.

“I want us to be pretty kick butt,” senior cheerleader Catee Moss said. “You’ve got to work with what you’ve got.”

Moss’ fellow senior cheerleader Lakelyn Watson said that teaching the younger cheerleaders is another big part of the summer.

“We have two new girls,” she said. “Everybody else knows how things run and pretty much what we do, so we’re going to step it up for the younger girls.”

All three seniors said that they hope to have a good year cheering for the football and basketball teams.

“I’m just really looking forward to this year,” senior cheerleader Sommer Thompson said. “We have so many girls coming back. The juniors have been doing this since the seventh grade. I hope it’s going to be an awesome year for these girls.”

Red Level cheerleaders Sommer Thompson (left), Emily Edson (right), Brandi Hendrix (back left) and Kaylon Williams (back right) practice a cheer in a recent workout session.