Sagemont, a Private School in Weston, Fl, Develops its Competitive Cheerleading Team

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Sagemont, a Broward private school, has worked hard to develop is competitive cheerleading team. The team took 1st place at the 2012 Florida Cheer and Dance Competition in their division. At The Sagemont School, members of its competitive cheerleading team are respected student-athletes and role models on campus.

Cheerleading has come a long way from the days of saddle shoes and pom-poms. Today’s cheerleaders are athletes in every sense of the word. At The Sagemont School, members of its competitive cheerleading team are respected student-athletes and role models on campus.

Cheerleading is a recognized sport by the Florida High School Athletic Association. In addition to cheering at football or basketball games, cheerleading teams also compete. At the 2012 Florida Cheer and Dance Competition, the Sagemont team received first place in its division and second place all-around. The girls also participated in last fall’s Universal Cheerleaders Association Competition in Orlando.

“These girls are true athletes, as they must learn flexibility, gymnastics, dancing and timing, stunting and cheering as a unit,” explains Christy Safont, head cheerleading coach at Sagemont. “It is a physically challenging sport as the girls push their physical abilities when they throw girls in the air, tumble and perform a non-stop two minute and 30 second routine which has over 50 counts of material.”

High school student, Briana Padron likes the exhilaration of competing. “My favorite part of competitive cheerleading is actually being on the floor and competing because we work so hard for a crazy two minute routine that only has one chance to hit, so in that moment when it all comes together it’s nerve racking and exciting.”

Teammate Jessica Velez, a senior, also enjoys the excitement of performing on stage. “It’s so much fun to me, and all the energy from the fans and other teams help pump me up.”

“What I enjoy most is getting out on the floor to show people our dedication to cheerleading and to show how hard we work,” adds middle school student grader Elizabeth Hurwitz.

Of course, the girls also enjoy cheering for the Sagemont Lions basketball team which made it all the way to the State Championship Tournament in Lakeland this year. They came in second in the state for their division.

Just like the boys basketball team, the cheerleaders put in hours upon hours of practice. According to Coach Safont, the team practices four times a week after school and once a month they practice on Saturday for two hours at a local cheerleading training facility with a competitive floor and experienced instructors. “These girls pack so much into a short time that it is amazing how much better we get every year,” shares the coach. “The level of difficulty increases every year and that is a testament to the type of girls we have.”

The cheerleaders are true role models on campus. They all maintain above average GPAs, are leaders in various clubs and honor societies, and are active in school functions and activities. “Academics is always the girls’ first priority,” explains Coach Safont. “With a coaching staff comprised of Sagemont math and science teachers, we make sure to incorporate study and homework time between practice and games and on trips.”

The girls also learn a lot from cheerleading. Because it is a team sport, they learn how to deal with many different personalities. According to Coach Safont, they also learn to be patient, adjust and to ‘go with the flow,’ and function as a unit rather than an individual.

That’s a lesson Jessica Velez will take with her when she goes to college next year. “From cheerleading I learned what it means to be a good role model and what it takes to be a good teammate. You have to be respectful and reasonable towards everyone. It also taught me to cooperate better with people.”

“I have learned discipline, as well as how challenging it can be to work with so many different personalities,” adds Briana Padron, noting that in the end they all learned to cooperate and work together as a family.

And that’s the lesson Coach Safont, Coach Henne and Coach Bononi want all the girls to take away from this experience. “There is definitely a bond within the team. We are a huge family and try to look out for each other.”

The Sagemont School offers a college preparatory curriculum and operates two campuses in Weston, Fl. In preschool through the elementary grades, The Sagemont School provides core concepts in a creative environment combined with weekly specials that include science, art, music, Spanish for non-native & native speakers, swimming, PE and media and technology. From middle school through high school graduation, Sagemont students choose from a variety of regular, honors and AP course work. In addition, students share in a networked wireless laptop environment and participate in a comprehensive guidance program for college entrance. Visit The Sagemont School Web site at http://www.sagemont.com/ and friend the school on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sagemont.

For more information on The Sagemont School contact Dr. Brent Goldman, President at (954) 389-2454 ext., 305, or email to bgoldman@sagemont.com.To read more stories about The Sagemont School written by Stacey Bomser go to School News at http://www.ourcityofweston.com

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Maria Ackermann
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