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12/15/18 7:13pm
12/15/2018 7:13 PM

Smithtown East High School, where the cheerleaders were cheered, was for the most part an awfully cheerful place.

The second Suffolk County cheerleading competition of the season was like a dance party (DJs and music included), the competitive edition. READ

05/11/14 10:00am
05/11/2014 10:00 AM
Southold cheerleaders perform during a basketball game this past winter. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Southold cheerleaders perform during a basketball game this past winter. (Credit: Garret Meade)

It’s an activity in which strained tendons, split lips and the occasional concussion are expected — and your safety relies wholly on trusting your teammates to back you up and catch you when you fall.

It’s cheerleading — which last week was unanimously recognized as a sport by the New York State Board of Regents. To this I say, it’s about time.

Here’s why, based on my firsthand experience.  (more…)

04/30/14 12:00pm
04/30/2014 12:00 PM
Southold cheerleaders perform during a basketball game this past winter. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Southold cheerleaders perform during a basketball game this past winter. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Riverhead athletic director Bill Groth remembers attending cheerleading competitions for the first time sometime around the mid-90s. The Blue Waves were a newcomer to the competitive scene, a phenomenon just beginning to sweep Long Island.

“You go to those championships,” Groth said, “and you’re going to have one word come out: Wow.” (more…)

08/05/13 10:00am
08/05/2013 10:00 AM
Cheerling Riverhead and North FOrk

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | North Fork Cheer coach Lauren Berry teaches Lauren Mullen, 6, and Ashleigh Doering, 6, how to lift Mila Kruk, 4, each of Southold, during a summer cheerleading camp.

The Peconic Panthers youth football team may have some new competition.

Cheerleaders will soon be claiming the sidelines at the peewee football teams’ home games, claiming the attention of parents and spectators with their cheers and a halftime show.

Two cheerleading coaches from Riverhead High School started North Fork Cheer, which gives girls in Mattituck, Southold and Greenport the chance to learn how to cheer at a young age. Those school districts do not offer cheerleading until junior high or high school.

The earlier girls learn to cheer the better, said Lauren Berry, co-owner of North Fork Cheer and coach of Riverhead’s junior varsity squad. In Riverhead, girls have the opportunity to begin cheering at age 5.

Ms. Berry and Stephanie Piraino, varsity cheerleading coach and a Riverhead ninth-grade English teacher, said they hope the program will help the North Fork’s high school cheerleading teams stack up against other skilled Long Island cheering squads.

North Fork Cheer is open to girls ages 5 to 17 and offers instruction on safe techniques, dances and cheers.

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