The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Columns

March 19, 2013

Jim Bailey: Youngest granddaughter is a cheerleader in the making

“We’ve got spirit, yes we do. We’ve got spirit, how about YOU???”

Gracie, 5, really gets into the spirit of things as she points an accusing finger during the cheerleading routine at Upward Basketball in Greenfield on Saturday mornings. Our youngest granddaughter attended her first cheerleader camp a couple of years ago and has really gotten into the spirit of things.

Gracie is an extremely active youngster, and her mom, Ruth, has been looking for an outlet for her energy since she was a toddler. Soccer didn’t work; she does her own thing, which isn’t conducive to a team sport. It looks as though her cousin Cameron, our next youngest, will be the soccer star in the family. And while she loves gymnastics, she also likes to do her own thing there as well. But she channels it all into cheerleading, where her exuberance and effervescence really shines.

The players and cheerleaders are all introduced with a flair at Upward, held at Greenfield’s Park Chapel Christian Church (there are similar programs across the country, including Anderson; grandson Jason is in Upward basketball in Zionsville). Gracie is one of two 5-year-olds on the squad. As the girl right ahead of Gracie ran out, she did a two-handed flip. Could Gracie top that? Sure, with a one-handed cartwheel, which Ruth says she developed totally on her own.

The Upward cheerleaders stand on the stage end of the double court and give out cheers whenever the action moves to the other end. At the “substitution breaks” (there are six periods in Upward Basketball, and everybody plays) the cheerleaders run onto the court for another cheer.

Ruth was drafted to be one of the assistant coaches, no mean feat since she was not a cheerleader during her school days. To make matters even more complicated, she was on crutches most of the season following foot surgery in midwinter. Makes it hard to demonstrate new cheers, for certain.

Each cheerleader has her own little megaphone. Gracie rarely yells through hers. She doesn’t need to. She belts out the cheers for all to hear, and her gestures, hops and kicks are as emphatic as any high school cheerleader.

There is a function for her megaphone: a place to paste all the stars she receives at the end of each game. Of course, in Upward, every kid gets weekly awards just for being part of the program.

When Gracie’s game was through, we headed for the indoor venue where 10-year-old Ronnie was practicing baseball. He’s rounding into a complete player with newfound agility, thanks in part to workout sessions at Throwback Athletics in Anderson.

A week later it was off to Zionsville. Jason is becoming a pretty good ballhandler. Another week and LeeAnn swam in divisional competition.

Our grandkids’ love for activity is refreshing given the firestorm of controversy surrounding the notoriety of couch potatoes. Go get ’em Gracie, Ronnie, Cameron, Jason and LeeAnn!

Jim Bailey’s column appears on Wednesday. He can be reached by email at jameshenrybailey@earthlink.net.

1
Text Only
Columns
  • underwood mug [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Scott Underwood: Headlines can capture imagination I'd just left the newspaper office one morning and was driving north on Jackson Street, when I stopped at a red light and glanced at the rearview mirror.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charo Boyd: 'My Social Security' simplifies your life So many people buzz through extremely busy and complicated schedules these days. A smartphone in one hand, a computer in front of you, and a digital task list that never seems to end. In addition, to complicate things just a little more, there’s another event you need to add to your list — National Simplify Your Life week.

    July 28, 2014

  • Maureen Hayden: 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress for national security failures Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous.

    July 27, 2014

  • Vaughan, Nancy mug [Duplicate] Nancy Vaughan: Fireworks and fireflies mean summer in full swing Hasn't July been a fabulous month? It began with multiple fireworks venues and parades and ends with fairs and football in full swing. We have been blessed with mild weather and if you haven't had to travel much outside of the county, roadwork has been minimal.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ken de la Bastide: City unions go without contracts for many years How Anderson deals with unions has changed dramatically over the years. In the past it would have been unheard of for union members to continue to work without a contract or an agreed upon deadline. But members of three unions that represent Anderson city employees have been working without a new contract agreement for up to seven years.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jim Bailey: Traveling by passenger train was a page from the past My wife doesn’t remember riding on a full-fledged passenger train as a baby. Our children have never ridden. It’s an experience rapidly going the way of the horse and buggy and the stagecoach throughout a nation now obsessed with jumbo jets and sport-utility vehicles.

    July 26, 2014

  • Howard Hewitt: When it comes to wines, small can be very good Repeating the familiar is an easy way to go through life as is taking the safe road. We all do that but find unexpected rewards when taking the path less traveled. That little bit of philosophy applies to visiting wine country.

    July 26, 2014

  • Maleah Stringer: Hats off to the staff at Animal Protection League I often talk about the wonderful volunteers and community support we have at the Animal Protection League. And that volunteers are every non-profits "life blood" this is true for the Animal Protection League as well.

    July 26, 2014

  • Clark, Big Joe mug 'Big Joe' Clark: Beat the market or meet your goals? True or not, my experience tells me that goals – especially when written down – undoubtedly serve as catalysts for success. However, danger arises when a goal does not properly focus on the long term result you expect.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Verna Davis: Seek peace by turning from evil and doing good There's something we all want: peace. World peace. Family peace. Personal peace. We yearn for peace, a feeling of freedom from commotion and antagonism, of harmony in our relationships, of lack of strife or dissension. What would we do to have peace in our lives?

    July 25, 2014

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Do you plan to attend one of the public sessions about the Mounds Lake reservoir project?

Yes
No
Not sure yet
     View Results