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Harrison Cheerleaders Compete at County Center

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The Harrison Huskies cheer team joined dozens of other area teams competing in the 63rd Westchester County Cheerleading Invitational Monday and Tuesday at the County Center, which is the longest running event of its kind in the area.

Like most cheer teams who compete, the Huskies are intense, gregarious and skilled but always ready to talk about the sport that demands so much work and dedication and evokes so much emotion.

“You always have those nerves,” Huskies Co-Captain Christie Suozzo said. “The No. 1 thing is to do what you know in your heart you are capable of doing and then you’re all right. You can’t win every competition, but you want to hit your routines.”

And hitting those routines in that precious 2 1/2 –minute explosion of gymnastics, lifts, stunts and dance while smiling and shouting cheers at the same time can be dangerous as well as exciting.

Suozzo’s Co-Captain Allie Fuller said the demands of the sport make it necessary to trust ones teammates.

“We’re lifting and doing stunts that are very difficult, so you have to trust each other and we are very close as a team,” Fuller said. “There’ a lot of emotion in performing, so that atmosphere makes us even closer.”

And the road to competition in the fall and through the winter season begins weeks before the first football game.

“We have three hour practices, three days a week,” Suozzo said. “There’s definitely a part that’s chemistry and knowing each other really well. We start the season by going to camp over the summer for four days and we really bond. Me and Allie didn’t even know each other well and know we are really good friends.”

And that friendship translated on to the mat, where the Huskies performed well among the dozens of other teams from Westchester and the surrounding communities.

The Ursuline Academy took top honors in the Class B Tuesday. 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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