10/04/12 — More than routine cheering at the Wayne Regional Fair

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More than routine cheering at the Wayne Regional Fair

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on October 4, 2012 1:46 PM

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A member of the Charles B. Aycock Falcon Cheerleading team forms the top of the Cheerleading pyramid during the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair Cheerleading Contest. Hundreds of people packed the grandstand area to watch more than 20 squads perform. The divisions that were judged was the varsity, junior varsity, and middle school. The Falcons placed second in the varsity division.

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Eastern Wayne Middle School Cheer Warriors show their school spirit during the cheerleading contest at the fair. The contest was judged by three accredited judges.

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The Little Falcons cheer team takes part in the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair Cheerleading Contest Exhibition.

They jumped, tumbled, danced and cheered. Sometimes the routine was perfect. Sometimes it wasn't. But cheerleaders from across the area all carried on with an unstoppable spirit Wednesday night at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair.

Because the recent downpours made a mud bath out of the field the cheerleaders normally compete on, a makeshift area was made using mats.

Some of the teams arrived long before the contest got under way to practice their routines one last time.

Megan Langston with the second-place Norwayne Middle School said her team has been practicing since the middle of the summer.

"We do a dance and pyramids and stuff like that," the 12-year-old said. "It was sort of hard to learn, but we have the hang of it now.

"It's really fun cheering in the fair competition. I used to be in the Little Falcons and have cheered in front of people before."

Teammate Payton Herring, 13, said it's really exciting out there on the field having everybody watching. She also appreciates the support from everybody who comes out to see her cheer.

"I get super nervous out there, but I just have to get over it," she said.

The Eastern Wayne Middle School cheerleading team planned on doing some stunts for the contest, said 13-year-old Haley Cannon.

"We're doing a Superman," she said. "We have three cheerleaders and one is in the middle. We throw her backwards to the back spot then forward to the front spot. Then we throw her back up till she's straight up."

Haley admitted that it was a hard move to learn -- and one that came with a couple of injuries. Like the time the middle cheerleader came down and hurt her wrist. Or the time she went too far backwards.

Haley's teammate Breanna Laster said it's an adrenaline rush when performing in front of a crowd like the one at the fair Wednesday night.

"The adrenaline starts rushing and we get very energetic," the 13-year-old said.

The cheerleading competition wasn't just for the older girls; the younger ones also got into the act.

Molly Jones with the Charles B. Aycock Little Falcons has been cheering for two years now. The 5-year-old really likes jumping high and using her pom poms during the dance routine.

Laney Hales, 7, also with the Falcons, was excited about doing her fast dance routine and three cheers.

"I'm nervous when I do my cheers in front of a lot of people," she said.

"It's a mixture of both concentrating on our cheers and seeing how many people are watching us," she said.

Wearing a brand new uniform that the team got this year, Wayne School of Engineering cheerleader Ashlee Falconer, 14, was a little nervous about doing her routine at the fair.

It wasn't an easy one to learn and there were mishaps during practice, she admitted.

"One of the girls got stepped on her face and she got a concussion," Ashlee said. "It's just part of cheerleading. It's just a sport. People say it's not, but you get hurt more in this than in most any other sport."