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No squad? No problem! Falmouth cheerleading makes a comeback

7:11 PM, Sep 20, 2013   |    comments
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FALMOUTH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- At the Varsity Youth football game... something unusual is about to happen.

No one has seen them here in more than 20 years.

And according to the athletic director, Cooper Higgins, "1991 was the last time there was an official team."

Falmouth's cheerleading squad!

Higgins says their cheerleading program dates back to this picture from 1945. He recalls what may have caused things to eventually dissolve.

"There was an explosion of the sports being offered to girls in all seasons," says Higgins.

Title IX was signed into law which gave girls equality within sports and therefore more options.
Then the cheerleading coach retired and no one took her place... "wooo!" Until now.

"Oo fumble. Recovery, they got it."

In less than two weeks, the Falmouth Cheer & Stunt team attracted 28 girls to sign up.

The team's organizer, Jill Marie Testaverde-Noyes says, "We talked to the assistant Bonny Eagle coach and said how do we do this? We talked to Tina and Mr. Billington... Went to the booster meeting and they said okay, go for it."

According to Noyes, the team received grants to pay for uniforms, pom poms, and two coaches with expertise in forming an inaugural squad.

Former Red Claws coaches, Tina Kelly and Brittany Johnson, were hired for the job.

"We did the Red Claws together. So we are familiar with how quickly you need to move in those first couple of practices to make sure your first game comes together," says Kelly.

The cheerleaders range in age from 8 to 14, and are hoping their first impression is one that will last.

Anna Power-Rekowski's Mom says, "it's amazing. It's amazing. And they've only had 5 practices."

Pam Aloupis says her quiet sixth-grader has gained confidence from cheering on the squad. She heard parents commenting when the cheerleaders started, "saying that makes all the difference in the world. And it does! Just listen to them. It's part of the game."

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