Tiny first time cheerleader makes All-American

Special to Leader-Press


Sydney Jacoby may be small in stature, but she has the determination of a giant. Although she had never participated in cheerleading before, she was not intimidated to try out for the squad and set her sights on becoming an All-American.

Referred to as their little peanut by her parents, Jacoby successfully made the squad of cheerleaders at S. C. Lee Junior High and attended the at-home Universal Cheer Association Camp where the members learned various stunts, pyramids, jumps, cheers and techniques to reinforce the physical skills of cheerleading. At the camp, the students are also taught how to be leaders on and off the field and represent their school in a positive light. 

As a new cheerleader with no experience, Jacoby found her short legs worked twice as hard.      

“My biggest challenge at camp was most likely trying to improve my jumps or keeping up with all the fast movements,” Jacoby said. “Being very petite is kind of both an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time. It’s an advantage because since I'm petite my stunt group can do more things with me because it is not a struggle to keep me in the air longer and toss me. It’s a disadvantage because I'm in like the third row for formation so it doesn't make it very easy to see me behind everybody.”

But, camp is not all work. It is also about having fun, bonding together as a new team, and achieving what you never thought possible.

“What was most rewarding for me was getting closer with some of the girls on my team and making All-American,” Jacoby said. “I was most definitely surprised to be named All-American because my jumps weren't really as high as I wanted them to be and I was still a little bit confused on some of the cheers. So, I thought those two things would affect me making All-American.”

Jacoby along with four more S. C. cheerleaders received All-American honors. This entitles them to attend additional camps and an opportunity to march in a major parade such as the Houston Thanksgiving Parade.

This year’s home camp focused on crowd leading and skills fundamentals with exclusive material and dances specifically for junior high squads.  The S. C. Lee cheerleaders are under the direction of teacher Shannon Thompson.

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