Yearning to compete

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 3, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Jordon Cramer, 15, has more than a few cheerleading titles under her belt, but she isn&8217;t on the school squad. School policy meant to deter cheerleaders from participating in squads other than that of Demopolis High Schools ensures that.

Cramer doesn&8217;t seem to mind much though. The ninth grader, competes with a team out of Birmingham that is one of the top in the world, so sideline duty at games don&8217;t interest her too much. Besides she said, the best part about cheerleading is competing, and she said the high school team doesn&8217;t seem to do much of that.

Not only exciting, it is rewarding as well. Cramer, through the competitive group ACE All-Stars of Alabama out of Birmingham of which she is a member, has come in third in national competition and her team is currently ranked seventh in the world through competing in the international competition. Her team&8217;s routines are even choreographed by the guy who made the routines in the &8216;Bring it On&8217; movies.

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Cramer has worked diligently to get where she is at in the cheerleading world. Starting four years ago with very little knowledge of what it takes to make it to the highest level of competitive cheerleading on a level five team (the pinnacle level) like she is currently.

It was here that Cramer got her first taste of competition and her first level. In the year she learned how to do a back handspring, which is a prerequisite to becoming a level one tumbler.

But alas, the gym&8217;s highest level of competition was level four, so the ambitious Cramer once again had to go in search of a gym that would allow her to climb the cheerleader ladder. She found it in Birmingham and has since reached the heights of competitive cheerleading.

But the story doesn&8217;t end there.

The injury required surgery and rehab, and doctors guessed it would be at least a year maybe more before she was back in shape for competition. But the hardheaded Cramer, who doesn&8217;t use a spot when learning new tumbling maneuvers, wouldn&8217;t be dissuaded from competing.