KINGSTON, N.Y. Rain or shine, toasted by the late summer heat or pounded by a freak autumn snow storm, the Dobbs Ferry Eagles cheerleaders have stood along the sidelines behind their football team through the 2011 run to the Section 1 Class C championship and the dream of a state title.
Were out there cheering no matter what, Eagles co-captain Brittani Sullivan said. Its mostly about school spirit and supporting the teams. We cheer for football and basketball season, so were always preparing. It is a lot of work and takes athletic ability just like any sport.
Eagles coach Maria Addona has been teaching at Dobbs Ferry for 20 years and coaching the cheerleading team for 13 years. She sees her cheerleaders as an integral part of the schools social, academic and athletic life.
Many of the girls are in student government, strong academically and members of other school organizations, Addona said. They represent the school in so many ways. And we are at every football and basketball game. It takes dedication to do this. They are athletes as well as providing support for the players.
Co-Captain Kayla Riley said the team works out every day and is always adding to its performance, working on new routines and keeping things fresh.
Whether the team is winning, like the football team is now, or losing a game, we have to keep the spirit going at all times, Riley said. We feel like were a big part of the game. Its very physical with the jumps and lifts. It may not look like it, but its hard work.
And do the cheerleaders have cheerleaders?
Yes, we have so much support from the fans and the players, Sullivan said. The parents and fans are always there for us telling us were doing a good job. And the players . well, we know they love that were out here for them. They think of us as part of the team.
And this fall, the Eagles cheerleaders have already helped bring another Section 1 title and a regional quarterfinal victory to the school and are hoping to cheer the Eagles to the state title.
Weve cheered through all kinds of weather including that big snow storm against Woodlands, Addona said. These girls are going to be there cheering no matter what.
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