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Hampton cheerleading clinic spreads school spirit to youngsters

| Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
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Hampton High School’s varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders will help local kindergarteners through fifth-graders learn Hampton Talbots’ cheers and chants during a fundraising clinic Sept. 11 and12 at the high school. Clinic participants then will cheer at the Sept. 13 varsity football game between Hampton and Greensburg Salem high schools. Front row: Tess O'Rorke, Kate Huskey, Shelby Ashford, Christine DeAndrea, Shelby Jackson, Emily Ford, Ana Cenci. Middle row: Shanti Panza, Lauren Watrobsky, Kelsey McQuaide, Callee McCarthy, Sierra Popowski, Katie Crist. Back row: Coach Amanda Groggel, Jenna Kotkevich, Morgan Bondi, Megan Sims, Ally Weeks, Christina Wikert, Sarah Angeloff, Molly Staszak, Maura Cummins, Coach Amanda DeMello.

Kathy Cummins of Hampton once cheered for the former Richland High School Rams.

Now, she wants to help spread Hampton Talbots fever.

Cummins invites kindergartners through fifth-graders in all Hampton elementary schools to attend a two-night cheerleading clinic on Sept. 11 and 12 in the gym at Hampton High School.

“It gives the kids a chance to meet other students who are in their grade level at different schools,” said Cummins, now a mother of three and vice president of the Hampton Cheerleading Boosters.

Clinic participants will perform at the varsity football game between Hampton and Greensburg Salem high schools on Sept. 13 at Fridley Field in Hampton.

“They learn cheers and chants, and then they get to go out and stand in front of the crowd at the varsity football game. It's a lot of fun,” said Cummins, coordinator of the clinic and a former Richland High School cheerleader.

Cummins' daughter, Maura, a freshman at Hampton High School, now cheers on the school's varsity cheerleading squad.

“I just remember having so much fun at football games and basketball games,” said Cummins, the former Kathy Weisenstein. “I want my daughter to have a great experience.”

Hampton High School's 23 varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders will lead the upcoming cheerleading clinic at Hampton High School.

“It provides a great leadership experience for the cheerleaders as well. They will teach the girls new cheers, along with other cheerleading skills and techniques,” said Amanda Groggel, coach of Hampton's varsity cheerleaders. “It's also rewarding to help teach younger students the traditions and pride they have for their school.”

Hampton Cheerleading Boosters annually offer two cheerleading clinics — one before football season and one before basketball season — for all Hampton elementary school-age children.

“We just look at it as an opportunity to share our school spirit, and start them young at getting excited about being a Hampton Talbot,” Cummins said. “We don't get into any jumps or stunts. We feel that would be dangerous.”

Last year, about 160 girls attended the boosters' football-season cheerleading clinic, but boys also can sign up.

“They get a snack every night,” said Cummins. “The second night, they get a T-shirt, a hair ribbon, pompoms and a little (Talbot) paw-print tattoo to put on their cheek.”

Registration fees are $35 for one child, $60 for two children and $85 for three children. Proceeds will benefit the Hampton Cheerleading Boosters.

Registration forms — due Friday, Aug. 30 — are available at Hampton School District's online site: www.ht-sd.org.

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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