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Injuries Can't Stop Scarsdale Squad at Competition

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The Scarsdale Raiders cheer squad stayed close to the performance mats Tuesday, prepping for its scheduled 2 ½ minute routine at the two-day 63rd Westchester County Cheerleading Invitational at the County Center.

“We had to rework our routine today, but it’s fine,” said Raiders co-captain Hayley Polkes, who recently suffered an injury and was not performing. “We have 12 on the team – 11 today. I actually broke my ankle two months ago, so I haven’t been cheering with the team. But we’ve pulled it together really well.”

So much for the glamour of cheerleading, an often misunderstood sport that requires skill, athleticism, hours of practice and a good amount of courage to do demanding lifts, tumbles and stunts.

With one of their captains sidelined, the Raiders recently won their sectional competition and were poised to give their best at the area’s longest-running cheerleading competition.

“This is a sport,” Co-captain Jackie Sharlach said. “We work just as hard as any other sport. It takes just as much physical ability, practice, skill and talent. We have injuries and we have to be able to work through that.”

Scarsdale performed well in the Class A designation, which was won by John Jay-East Fishkill Tuesday. The Ursuline Academy took top honors in the Class B. Monday’s winners were St. Catherine Academy of the Bronx in Class B, Croton in Class C and New Rochelle in Class A. St. Catherine’s returned Tuesday to win the Grand Champion award against all the top winners.

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