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Two bits, four bits . . .

School is in session as well as after school athletic practices.

Not only are football players braving muggy summer afternoons to perfect their game, but cheerleading squads across the state are also braving balmy gymnasiums to help cheer the boys on.

&uot;It’s been going really well,&uot; Greenville High School first-year cheerleading sponsor Stacey Edwards said Monday afternoon. &uot;I’ve been lucky to have a group of excellent cheerleaders that are really into cheerleading. They want to be the best. It’s been easy working with them.&uot;

Greenville’s cheerleading squad began after school practices yesterday, but practiced for several weeks prior to the National Cheerleading Association sanctioned clinic they attended in Auburn at the end of July. Edwards said the squad showed great promise.

&uot;They did really well,&uot; Edwards said. &uot;They scored top in every category overall. They also won the motion award for the squad with the sharpest motions.

Megan Brooks was selected as an All-American cheerleader at the clinic. Four other Greenville cheerleaders were chosen as All-American finalist.

Edwards said she was very pleased with her squad’s performance during the clinic especially with the size of squad Greenville’s fielding this year.

&uot;As far as I know, this is the largest squad Greenville’s ever had,&uot; Edwards said. &uot;We have 18, so we have to start early. We have great parental support. Our parents are really involved.&uot;

Georgiana’s cheerleading squad also worked hard this season and it paid off with superior performances all week at cheer camp.

&uot;It’s going very good,&uot; second-year Cheerleading Sponsor Rachel Burleson said. &uot;The girls went to Troy State for camp this summer and everything’s went well.&uot;

Georgiana’s squad began practicing for the Universal Cheerleader Association cheer camp at the end of June. They started after school practices on Monday.

LaKesha Crittenden was selected as a UCA All-Star cheerleader.

Georgiana’s cheerleading squad is comprised of 10 girls this year. Burleson said with the knowledge of this year’s squad, she has several things in store for them.

&uot;We have a little bit more experience squad than we usually have, so we plan to attend a couple of competitions in hopes of doing well,&uot; Burleson said. &uot;I really feel they can do well.&uot;

Edwards has the same type of challenges to come for Greenville’s squad.

&uot;Above and beyond football and basketball season, we’re going to cheer at the grand opening of the Wal-Mart Super Center. Our goal is to start competing at a local level, around south Alabama. They’re good enough to compete.&uot;

Besides practicing for sideline cheers and builds, Georgiana’s squad has already prepared for many of the planned school activities.

&uot;We’re already planning our pep rallies and thinking of different ideas to help raise school spirit,&uot; Burleson said.

Greenville’s squad has also begun preparation for prep rallies as well as other community appearances.

&uot;We’ll have home prep rallies and homecoming is always a big deal,&uot; Edwards said. &uot;We’ll have a homecoming prep rally and they’ll be in the homecoming parade as well as the Christmas parade.&uot;

Edwards plans to have her girls compete at the South Alabama Fair in Montgomery this fall.