Erick Starkey/News East Knox’s Sophie Miller performs a cheer Wednesday during practice in preparation for Friday’s football game.

Erick Starkey/Mount Vernon News

East Knox’s Sophie Miller performs a cheer Wednesday during practice in preparation for Friday’s football game. Request this photo

 

HOWARD — The East Knox Bulldogs cheerleaders, like cheerleaders across the area schools, are putting in work, similar to the football teams, in preparation for Friday night’s season opener.

“I tell the girls that if their arms aren’t hurting at the end of the night, then they didn’t practice hard enough,” East Knox cheer coach Amy Jones said.

Like many other programs, East Knox started practicing almost two months ago to prepare for the season. The Bulldogs competed in the cheer competition at the Dan Emmett Music and Arts Festival earlier this month, but the squad is now solely focused on Friday nights.

“Our main focus is to pump up the crowd and support our team,” Jones said. “Everybody doesn’t think it’s hard work, but it is.”
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In addition to the Friday night product, the East Knox cheerleaders are in charge of locker signs, signs for the football team to run through, as well as participating in pep rallies, and that’s not including the daily work to prepare for the football game.

The Bulldogs have had two-hour practices this week to prepare for Friday’s away game against Muskingum. With a young squad, a lot of repetition is required to get the cheers down so that the team can be uniform in front of the crowd.

“We put a lot in to it. We have to memorize tons of cheers,” East Knox sophomore Addison Crouch said. “We’ve got to really work on our timing so we look good and synchronized together. If you mess up, it’s fine. You’ve just got to keep going, but it always looks really good if we are together in timing and it makes it more enjoyable to watch.”

In addition to creating athletes, cheerleading brought out the outgoing side of Bulldog junior Sophie Miller.

“A lot of people get nervous going in front of crowds and that was definitely me years ago,” she said. “Now I get excited to go out there and get people excited for the game.”

Although cheerleading is not the game being played between the lines, cheerleaders across the county still put in the work for each Friday night to help put on a good show.

“The whole school is there,” Crouch said of what she enjoys about Friday nights. “You’re getting everyone excited.”

 

Erick Starkey: 740-397-5333 or erick@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @MVNStarkey

 

 

 

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