Many sports enthusiasts will tell you that cheerleading is not a sport. I disagree.
These teams that you see on the sidelines at football games and at the ends of the court at basketball games, practice as much as those boys sports teams.
They don't have as many competitions, but so far Batavia is doing as well as possible, going 3-0 with just sectionals coming up on Feb. 22.
I showed up for a quick video shoot and some interviews and was able to see what a group of 20 cheerleaders together can be. Rookie coach Colleen Sullivan let them have fun, but when it was business time, it was business time.
Maybe that's why she's carrying on the tradition of Krista Shamp (used to be Glow), who turned Batavia cheerleading from an average squad into a county and sectional contender.
Heck, the squad won its fourth consecutive Monroe County League title on Sunday, beating second-place finisher East Irondequoit by a whopping 19 points. This comes after sectional championships in 2006 and 2007 and winning a first-ever fall title this year.
The squad has many personalities, ranging from some quiet girls to the boisterous senior Ana Spikes, who spent much of the end of last basketball season harassing me at games.
And then you have some true leaders, like Taylor Chmielowiec, whose brother Mike is one of the best basketball players in Batavia history. In chatting with her, I see a lot of similar personality traits. You can tell that a senior that has been on varsity for four years is a leader.
And then there is the new coach.
Sullivan is a 2006 graduate of Batavia and was a football cheerleader for three years and basketball for four, all under Shamp, who is her neighbor, friend and mentor.
Sullivan also cheered for the Rochester Elite All Heat All-star team for two years.
She is currently in college and plans on running the program for as long as possible.
She is 3-0 as a basketball cheerleading coach and can end up 4-0 if Batavia can win sectionals on Feb. 22 at RIT.
The entire roster is:Sasha Mruczek, Carissa Hyde, Madison Musilli, Taylor Chmielowiec, Jamie Turman, Sarah Stendts, Amanda Wormley, Kaley Falkowski, Jenna Sallome, Nikki Longhini, Petra Dietrich, Mari Geer, Alex Saraceni, Morgan SChlossel, Shawna Platt, Ana Spikes, Meghan Dwyer, Mikala Phillips, Leah Mruczek, Emily Sallome, Erika Bucci, Rachel Guppenberger, Natalie Tuites and Amy Schmitt.