CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- The Hendrick Hudson varsity cheerleading team got to show off its talents on Saturday as it hosted its first cheerleading meet in seven years.
More than 20 schools from Westchester, Putnam and Rockland County, including Panas, Yorktown, Mahopac and Eastchester showed up at Hendrick Hudson High School to participate in the cheerleading sectionals.
Hendrick Hudson has 28 girls on the team. Cheerleading was recently recognized as a sport by New York State.
"This is really exciting," Lori Pyrch, secretary of the Sailors Cheerleading Club, said, before the meet. "There is a lot of electricity here. It's an honor to be hosting this."
Pyrch said the Hen Hud cheerleaders were nervous but excited, about getting to perform for their fans. She was pleased that New York recognized that cheerleading as a sport.
"They put in so much hard work," Pyrch said. "That effort deserves recognition. It's been a real long time coming. The girls have so much enthusiasm when they perform."
Joan Messinger and Joanne Bartolomeo were selling t-shirts and other merchandise to help raise money for the team, which is hoping to compete in nationals in Myrtle Beach.
"This is a big fundraiser for the team," Messinger said. "It's every exciting for the girls. They have received a lot of support. So many parents came to help."
Hendrick Hudson football players also came to the event to show their support and volunteer.
Athletic director Tom Baker said it was good to show off how far cheerleading has come at Hendrick Hudson.
"They put in a lot of time and effort," Baker said.
Baker said the cheerleading team is one of Hendrick Hudson's most visible, always out there participating in community events.
"It is a very positive thing for the district and for the community," Baker said.
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