To the Sports Editor:
Relocating to Batesville, from Memphis was quite an adjustment. One common local concern I understand is "there is nothing in Batesville for our kids to do." This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to witness an event that makes me believe there is a lot for a kid to do and accomplish in Batesville.
The past few weeks, although, not a parent, but close to several South Panola competitive cheerleading squad members, I have attended practices held in preparation for the 2006 UCA National High School Cheerleading Championships in Orlando, Florida. During this time, I have witnessed and been drawn into the emotion of the athletes, coaches, and parents ranging from frustration and exhaustion to confidence and renewed energy.
It was truly a remarkably humbling experience to witness in person the poise, self-discipline, agility, dedication, teamwork, stunt execution, and most of all heart that 28 of the most talented young athletes from South Panola employed against 33 other regional champion squads from all over the country to claim their fifth place national ranking.
As I travel back to Batesville, I can only imagine how proud the coaches, who structured, conditioned, and developed this champion talent must be. This is truly talent that extends beyond the competition floor in a camaraderie shared among the coaches, athletes, and their parents.
So, as these young ladies do, I encourage you "South Panola, Stand Up" be proud of our champions. Know that Batesville was represented by kids who do have something to do and a caring coaching staff that know how to teach them to do it the right way – FROM THE HEART.