UIL makes cheerleading a competitive sport - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

UIL makes cheerleading a competitive sport

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - There were no doubt, big cheers all over the state today. The U-I-L has agreed to make high school cheerleading a competitive sport for at least one year.

Give me a 'Y', give me an 'E', give me an 'S.' The University Interscholastic League Legislative Council has said yes to making cheerleading a sport in Texas.

"I cannot wait, it will bring the fans in, it will bring the whole school together, it will let us boost ourselves up a lot," Mabank cheerleader Alexia Fritsch said.  Jhayla Mumphrey, a cheerleader at Tyler Lee, added "Everyone kind of knocks cheerleading and says its not a sport even though we work equally as hard as everyone else does."

Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, Game Day Cheer will be a part of  UIL athletics, giving the boys and girls a chance to win a state title of their own. "Just getting ready for a state competition is really exciting," Tyler Lee cheerleader Lani McNatt said. "I think a lot of people will play more attention to that." Bullard cheerleader Macy Riley added, "I think people will take us more seriously because they won't look at us like we are just saying these chants on the sidelines,but we are also going for a trophy."

This will mark the first time in the UIL's 91 year history, cheerleading will be considered a competition. If all goes well in the pilot year, the sport will be here to stay. "Its a full on contact sport, its just as hard as track, football if not harder," Former Tyler Lee cheerleader Brandon Hicks said. McNatt added,"All my football guy friends are just like you just waive your pom pom's, you need to come to one of our practices. But, I would love to see them come to one of ours."

The elements of the UIL contest will be similar to what cheerleaders do at pep rallies or on the sidelines, making it different than competitive cheerleading. "I think it will make it a lot more intense," Fritsch said. "We are going to focus not only on getting louder and making our motions stronger, but the competitive aspect of it and becoming better as a team."

Here's to soon crowning a cheerleading state champion.

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