CHEERLEADING: UIL approves pilot program for 2015-16 school year

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The University Interscholastic League’s Legislative Council voted Wednesday to create a Game Day Cheer Competition as a pilot program for the 2015-16 school year, one of the first steps toward cheerleading becoming a UIL-sanctioned activity.


Continuation of the pilot program beyond the 2015-16 school year will require formal action by the full UIL Legislative Council. The council rejected a proposal to start the program in 2014-15 in order to provide schools a chance for more preparation.


Oak Ridge High School cheerleading coach Sarah Parker said the pilot program will be a great opportunity for more exposure and recognition.


“It definitely is a sport in my mind,” she said. “This is just another way to prove ourselves. We gained a lot of respect from the school and community with the success we had this year.”


The success she was referring to is her team’s second-place finish in the Large Varsity Division at the 2014 National High School Cheerleading Championships.


“We’re lucky, and I’m very blessed because we have a lot of girls with skills,” Parker said. “The UIL competition opens some doors for schools that might not be competing otherwise.


“For the UIL competition, it’s focused more on what we do on the field, as opposed to the way we’ve been competing where we go out on the mat for two minutes and execute advanced stunts and things like that.”


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