Nicole Wood, 18, (cq) (left) Karina Brown, 14, (cq) (center) and Danielle Earley, 14, (cq) struggle to hold their teammate aloft while trying a new stunt during practice Tuesday afternoon at the West Flint Church of the Nazarene. Today’s cheerleaders are taking on more ambitious stunts as they work to keep up with their competitors. Almost all routines, including the one the Swartz Creek Varsity team is working on for an upcoming competition, include stunts that ask team members to be gymnasts as well as cheerleaders.
ASSIGNMENT INFO: Today story on cheerleading injuries, how competitiive,athletic and dangerous the sport has become, and how much more serious injuries are when they occur. How do you stay competitive while trying to prevent injuries? Paula Durock (sp?) is the varsity cheerleading coach for Swartz Creek High School. She and her squad are meeting at the church for practice between 4 and 7 pm. She said they’re moving the entire time, so any part of the practice should have lots of athletic stuff. Please shoot Sunday cover and inside art of Paula and the girls. (Date shot: 1/29/2008) (The Flint Journal / Katie Rausch)