Updated 06/07/2012 10:57 PM
CNY and NNY cheerleaders compete for title
It's a competition all about spirit. In just over a week, 20 cheerleaders from across the country will compete for the title of National Cheerleader of the Year. Three are from New York. Our Katie Gibas tells us about the Chittenango High School junior who's in the running.
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CHITTENANGO, N.Y. -- Samantha Mayer got into cheerleading later than most. She danced for ten years and made the transition to cheer in high school and was instantly hooked.
"I just liked the performing part of dance, so I thought performing in front of my school would be even cooler. And having the involvement in school was a huge thing for me," said Samantha Mayor, one of the Cheerleader of the Year finalists.
Ginny Marasco, the Chittenango Varsity Cheerleading Coach, added, "Since she got into it kind of late, she became obsessed with it very quickly and her abilities from the get-go were natural and a standout."
And that's what made Coach Marasco nominate Samantha for the Cheer Ltd's National Cheerleader of the Year scholarship contest. Samantha made it through several rounds of performances and interviews to the finals. In just a week, she will compete against 19 other girls for the title.
"It's great. I can't even explain how excited I am. It's a huge accomplishment for only cheering for so long and just doing it for fun," said Mayer.
Marasco added, "This really means a lot to our community. Our cheerleaders in Chittenango have worked really hard to get good at their craft and get the respect of their classmates as athletes. And it's happened in the last couple of years. They're really starting to be taken seriously and looked upon with a good deal of respect and this step will go a long way toward taking them further.”
The competition will be held June 17th in Fayetteville, NC. Mayer will compete in a routine, two interviews and a photo shoot. The winner will be announced that evening.
"There's never been a winner from Chittenango before. There's never been a winner from New York State before. It's a lifestyle down South and we're catching up. Sam is kind of a late comer into the sport and for her to be able to keep up with them and actually, I think has a very good chance of it, is pretty exciting," said Marasco.
Samantha is getting in her final practices as she prepares to face off for the $2,500 scholarship competition.
Andi Faris from Pulaski and Nikki Hutchinson from Rodman are competing in the all-star category.