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ECHS cheerleaders perform at Auburn

By By Matthew Nascone
The Escambia County High School varsity cheerleaders experienced a bittersweet moment Saturday on the campus of Auburn University. They were cheering in the middle of Jordan-Hare Stadium as part of the All-State halftime show when Auburn hosted the University of Buffalo.
The only problem was every one of the cheerleaders loyalty lies in the heart of Tuscaloosa, and not Auburn. But ECHS cheer sponsor Treavie Ainsworth said they had fun nonetheless.
"I am sure they would have much rather gone to Alabama, but they had a good time, and they were excited to be out there," Ainsworth said.
The girls were part of the 1,400-person invasion of Jordan-Hare Stadium for the All-State Game. The group included cheerleaders and bands from across the state of Alabama. The day is sponsored by Cheerleaders of America, a 20-year-old company based in Columbus, Ohio.
COA director Vicki Pfeiffer contacted Ainsworth about participation in the event, but the decision to do it was an easy one for Ainsworth.
"I had gone to the All-State Day last year," she said. "And I thought it was a great idea then, so when Vicki asked me I said 'Sure we will do it.'"
Ainsworth said yes in March and the squad received a DVD in the mail, showing them the dance and cheer that would be performed on game day. Ainsworth said her girls made sure they knew the dance before they got to Auburn.
They arrived on campus at 7:30 a.m. for a practice that included the other 600 or so cheerleaders involved in the festivities. Then at 10 a.m. all the bands that would be performing joined the cheerleaders for a dress rehearsal.
Ainsworth said there was one bad aspect to the day.
"It was so hot and all the girls were so exhausted from the heat," she said. "But it was well worth the sweat and tears. And all the parents who made the trip with us said it was worth the money. They were all so proud of their daughters."
The trip cost each girl $15 and they were given a ticket to the game and an "Auburn Halftime Extravaganza" T-shirt.
All of the girls said exactly the same thing, 'It was scorching hot, but it was a blast.'
Other squads from the area included in the presentation were the cheerleaders from T.R. Miller, W.S. Neal and Flomaton high schools.
"It might have been hot, but the girls had fun no matter what and that is the important part," Ainsworth said.