I want to send a big shout out to the Manatee High School varsity football cheerleaders and their coaches, Kelly Altoff and Jimmy Lassiter, for capturing their second consecutive state championship! This was a new record for the Manatee High School cheerleaders in that no team has ever won back-to-back state titles!
Also, I would like to thank our community supporters, the Bradenton Herald, for recognizing the team's achievement in the Jan. 31 edition, as well as thank the Shake Pit restaurant, a great supporter of MHS, for posting the win on the Shake Pit marquee.
Many are unaware, but these young ladies have a long 10-month season. They begin tryouts in April, continue practice throughout the spring and summer, cheer at all varsity football games, and then begin their competition season in December and conclude it at the national competition in February of the following year.
The team is comprised of 30 hard-working, talented, dedicated and strong young women who practice three to four times a week, are employed in the community, perform community service, serve on student council and participate in clubs, all while continuing to earn very good grades (some of whom are enrolled in the AP+ program).
Unfortunately, the MHS administrators were unwilling to recognize the ladies on their incredible victory. It wasn't communicated to the students or faculty; it hasn't been published on the school website along with the other sporting achievements; it wasn't posted on the school's Facebook page, nor was it displayed on the school's marquee.
Looking ahead, I wish the team continued success when they compete in the UCA National Cheerleading competition in Orlando Feb. 8-9 against competitors from all across our country. Go, Canes, Go!
Deborah L. Conrad