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Bullitt Central captures top cheerleading prizes

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Cheer Tradition

By Stephen Thomas

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - Three cheers to the state champs at Bullitt Central High School.

The cheerleading champs, that is, who also placed fourth in a national competition.

The 2010-11 Large Co-Ed cheer squad consists of 28 enthusiastic and determined students under the leadership of head coach James Moore and assistant coach Traci Moore.

In his fourth year as head coach, James Moore, a former team member, earned his first state title and the school’s first state championship since 2004.

“It’s the first year with all of our kids,” he said. “It’s a good feeling. We had a lot of talent and we knew we could do well. They kept working hard and we kept pushing them harder.”

Moore credited his team with keeping up to the task at hand, practicing three days a week, cheering at school sports events twice a week and spending another day in the gym.

“Cheerleading is as physically demanding as any other sport,” he said. “We tell the team that you might hate it now, it might suck, but you win and now it’s worth it all.”

Bullitt Central topped six schools in the Large Co-Ed division of the state finals. Moore said the competition consisted of a one-minute cheer routine and a 90-second dance routine with musical accompaniment.

“We created and choreographed our own cheer and routine,” he said. “That’s what they prepared for most of the year. They performed well every time. We told them what they needed to do to win, and they did it. You can’t ask for much more.”

Principal Christy Coulter praised the team’s effort at the state competition, referring to the squad as “a great representative of our school” and setting a standard for its competitors.

“I’ve been (to cheer competitions) many times and I’ve seen the team fall short,” said Coulter. “On this day everything just clicked. They had a perfect routine.”

Coulter was pleased that the school’s cheer tradition has returned to form. She mentioned the team’s founder and first coach, Reba Johnson, and past coach Terry Cox, now a school counselor, were both in attendance at the state competition.

“Having three generations of the program there was exceptional,” Coulter said. “That’s a true sign of an established program, not just a team.”

“Reba started it all, then I replaced her, then Moore replaced me,” said Cox. “It’s neat and it’s fun to sit back and watch.”

Cox, who led Bullitt Central to its last state title, coached Moore as a student.

“It’s an honor to turn the program over to someone you coached who is keeping it alive,” Cox said. “Now (Moore) has two state titles, one as a coach and one as a student.”

Cox said Moore’s coaching intention was always centered around bringing Bullitt Central back to top form. He credited both coaches for the team’s success.

“They brought it back to our family philosophy, (teammates) might fight but you move on,” said Cox. “James and Traci have done an outstanding job.”

At the Nationals in Orlando, Fla., Moore said the team was one of three from Kentucky that placed in the top four. In 2010 Bullitt Central placed ninth at Nationals.

The squad will lose 11 seniors, including eight boys, following graduation. Moore said the team will use that as motivation to replace those leaders and place even higher next season.

“We’ve had a really talented bunch this year,” he said. “Every year we’ll try ti improve. We want to see that.”

Team members include Paige Huff, Stephanie Owens, Kayla Reynolds, Kelly Grassi, Kayla Russell, K.J. Williams, Caitee Grooms, Trisha Moore, Shelby Fox, Peyton Gilpin, Nathan Hall, Hunter Likens, Courtney Craddock, Madison Rist, Autumn Ferrell, Ted Hall, Tyler Jones, Cameron Hurst, Aaron Smith, Evan Riggs, Mara Judd, Tanner Allen, Morgan Bennett, Alex Garcia, Parker Hall, Ricky Dusablon, Matt Lafollette and Greg Woloch. Coaches were James and Traci Moore and Randy Shibley.