By Lindsay Owens Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — It's a Sunday afternoon and Tumbling Express is bustling with cheerleaders and members of Xtreme Edge Athletics, practicing a routine for their next competition. Every once in a while, one of the little girls takes a second to adjust the glittery bow atop her head before moving onto the next part of the routine.
"This is our 'Mini Frost' team," said Spring Hall, owner and coach of Xtreme Edge as she watches the girls practice. "When they finish, the older girls, our 'Black Ice' team will have practice."
Xtreme Edge relocated from Knox County last fall bringing a number of its participants to the facility known in the area for its gymnastics and tumbling programs. "We are in the process of building our team here," said Hall. "But the response to our program here has been great. The move was more than worth it and we are excited to be here."
Currently, the Xtreme Edge roster boasts over 20 athletes including two boys and in an effort to get more boys involved in the sport, Xtreme Edge offers free tuition to any boy who would like to participate. Athletes make the commute from all over Daviess, Pike, Dubois, and Knox counties as well as from Illinois.
For Hall and her cousin/assistant coach Jonna Helms, cheer leading is in their blood. Hall's mother was a highly successful cheer coach and gave Hall and Helms a chance to start coaching at a young age. In fact, Hall was at one time Helms' coach.
"This was something I've always wanted to do," said Hall. "I wanted to so something for this area for the kids and this provides them with an opportunity that wasn't already available without driving out of town."
Typically competitive cheerleading is nearly a year around sport but since Xtreme Edge didn't relocate until the fall, members haven't had as long to prepare for competitions as many other teams but their results illustrate what motivated coaches and excited athletes can do.
"The season usually officially starts in August and lasts through the spring," said Helms. "But most programs offer classes in the summer. The practice hours are just not as stringent."
Currently, Xtreme Edge's athletes practice on Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoons. "Our mini's, age 8 and under, practice four to five hours a week and our senior team, age 18 and under, practice between five and six hours each week," said Helms.
In competition since November, the teams captured Xtreme Edge's third national title and earned the opportunity to perform at the Colt's Holiday Halftime Show when the Colts played the Jaguars.
"The Holiday Halftime Show was performed for more than 67,000 fans at Lucas Oil Stadium and showcased the talents of Indiana's cheerleaders and dancers," said Hall.
The teamed also traveled to St. Louis, Mo., to compete in the ASC's Northern Express Nationals where both teams received first place.
"National Champion trophies and banners were awarded to both teams and every athlete received a t-shirt and jacket," said Hall.
In addition to competitions in the state, Xtreme Edge will be competing in Texas in March and Chicago in April. "Going to these competitions is a great learning opportunity for our teams," said Helms.
To help cover the travel expenses for the teams, a benefit dinner will be held Feb. 16 at Antioch Christian Church. Tickets will be $9 for adults with a reduced rate for children.
Athletes competing with Xtreme Edge are Annabelle Blake, Sophia Brookhart, Daylin Camp, Destany Chambers, Sakura Dailey, Xander Dailey, Sydney Dame, Kennedy Edwards, Cora Edwards, Lauren Fuqua, Jaylyn Hawk, Paytan Hawk, Shaylyn Hawk, Liberty Holtsclaw, Zeus Marsh, Emma Meredith, Paighton Parsons, Kirsten Purdue, Hope Senger, Lauren Tollett, Lillian Willis, Lillian Wilson and Sabrina Wilson.
In an effort to introduce others to cheer leading, Xtreme Edge will be hosting a "ONE LOVE" cheer clinic on Feb. 15 at the gym. All ages and ability are invited to participate. Tryout and competition information will also be available that day. Ages 8 and under are invited to participate from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and those age 9 and over are invited from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
For information on Xtreme Edge, find them on Facebook or call 890-9933.