Earning a college scholarship in competition cheerleading is no easy task.
At Lakeside High School, five senior cheerleaders will take their pep to the next level.
The largest signing class in Lakeside cheerleading history is made up of Lauren Chandler (Louisville), Kristen Murphey (Georgia), and Ashley Severson, Maggie Pepin and Jocilyn Yarnell (Kennesaw State). Lakeside coach Christa Burch said the five college-bound girls were much of the reason for a successful 2005-06 season this past winter.
"They really did their very best at state," Burch said. "We peaked at the right time. I was so proud of all of them."
The Lakeside squad finished third in the state after rivals Greenbrier and Evans failed to even qualify for state competition. Burch said the senior leadership made the difference.
The five girls who will cheer in the college ranks next season aren't the only reason for the Lakeside success. The squad totaled 12 seniors this year.
"That made a big difference," Burch said. "They were more mature. We didn't have the scuffles that 25 teenage girls usually have."
Severson said most of the five have been with the team since their freshman year. Even then the team knew they had something special.
"We could see our senior year coming," Severson said. "We've had a wide variety and diversity of talent, and it all came together our senior year."
Chandler said even though the team won't be completely together, the cheering goes on.
"All of us have been on this squad for four years," she said. "We've been doing it all our lives, and we just can't stop."
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