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ODA Cheerleaders to perform in New York

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  • | 5:00 a.m. November 16, 2011
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EAST COUNTY — Every Thanksgiving Day morning, Out-of-Door Academy cheerleader Sarah Nimptsch has rushed to the television screen with her family to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

But this year, she won’t be in front of the TV. In fact, she won’t be at home, at all.

Nimptsch and fellow ODA cheerleader Ashley Preininger will be performing in the parade as part of the Universal Cheerleaders Association All-American Cheerleading Squad.

“I’ve watched (the parade) since I was a little girl,” said Nimptsch, a sophomore. “It’s always been a family tradition. I (like) to watch the cheerleaders.”

Preininger, a senior, agreed, noting she grew up in New Jersey and always has wanted to see the parade in person.

Although Thanksgiving will be different without their families nearby, the girls say they couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity.

“It’s going to be overwhelming,” Preininger said, adding she’s excited about possibly seeing celebrities and newscasters along the route. “I can’t even imagine the magnitude of what it’s going to be like. It’s going to be intense.”

The colder weather and the length of the route has proven a bit of concern for the girls, but they are preparing as much as possible.

Nimptsch even has started running to give her more endurance for parade day, she said.

The girls received choreography for their parade performance earlier this month and already have begun practicing their routines, which they will perform alongside more than 200 other cheerleaders from across the United States.

Preininger, captain for ODA’s varsity squad, qualified with UCA to perform in the Thanksgiving Day parade in London last year but was unable to attend because of illness.

Nimptsch, Preininger and fellow cheerleader Emma Holland this year earned a spot on UCA’s All-American squad and a chance to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade after auditioning at a UCA-run cheerleading camp this summer.

Holland is unable to attend the parade but said she’s excited to see her classmates cheer on behalf of ODA.

“I think this year’s squad has gained a lot of respect (as a sport) and has improved,” Holland said. “It was a great accomplishment for three of us to get picked.”

Preininger agreed.

“It reflects on the entire squad, not just the three of us,” she said, noting the squad won the camp’s coveted Spirit Award. “We’ve gained a lot of credibility as a sport, this year especially. Performing in front of crowds, we’ve hit all of our stunts, which has never happened.”

The girls said this year, under the direction of a new cheerleading coach, Sandi Dietrich, ODA’s cheerleading squad has worked hard to increase school spirit and foster a sense of support for all of ODA’s sports.

“We want to give cheerleaders a good name,” Nimptsch said. “We also love to support our football team and the other sports here.”

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].


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