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Cheer Squad Lauded for Acrobatics

Winning cheerleading team honored by Hauppauge Board of Education.

The award-winning Hauppauge cheerleading team proved that its got more than than pom-poms and pyramids up its sleeves, during a presentation to the Board of Education Tuesday.

Flips, twists and lifts are just some of the gravity-defying stunts the girls have put together for their upcoming competition season.

"These girls are phenomenal athletes. It's not cheerleading the way people think cheerleading is. These are dedicated athletes who work six days a week all for a 2-minute routine," Joe Tasman, the district's athletic director, said. "In cheerleading, everything has to be perfect to win."

Luckily, winning is one of the team's strongest points.

Last year, the Hauppage cheerleading team placed first in the Long Island Championships, first in the Empire Regional competition and was a national finalist in the National High School Cheerleading Championship at Walt Disney World.

With one month until the biggest competition, the team is putting together harder stunts to keep its top spot in the rankings. The cheerleaders are currently preparing for LICCA, a small varsity championship at Suffolk Community College on Feb. 2 and for the Universal Cheerleading Association Nationals on Feb. 9 in Orlando, Florida.

This year is not a just a special year because of the team's success. It is also the end of an era for the squad, which has 13 seniors who will be graduating at the end of the year. Many of those girls have been a part of the team since their freshman year, coach Laura Candela said.

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