Baldwin A dream comes true for three Baldwin girls -- after a lot of hard work.
Fifteen-year-old Tiffany Madl can remember as a little girl watching her older sister, Cindy, cheerleading at Baldwin High School athletic events and wanting to be just like her.
So she took dance and gymnastics lessons, and today she, like her sister, is a cheerleader.
However, Tiffany took it a step further -- this summer she tried out and was named to the National Cheerleading Assn.'s All-American Cheerleading Team.
Tiffany is one of three members of the Baldwin High School cheerleading squad chosen as an All-American Cheerleader this year. In addition, the Baldwin squad was chosen as the camp's top squad, making the team eligible for the national event in Sheridan, Tex.
Tiffany sat with the other All-American cheerleaders, Dina Dillon and Sarah Caldwell, in the air-conditioned high school library and described how they were chosen for the honor.
Required by the NCA, all high school cheerleading squads in the nation attend a four-day summer instructional camp. The Baldwin squad attended the camp sponsored by Emporia State University -- one of 500 such camps across the nation.
At the end of the camp, cheerleaders could try out for the All-American team by performing a series of three continuous jumps, a tumbling entrance and the cheer.
Seven girls at the camp made the All-American team.
To be chosen, the girls had to receive a score higher than 60 points after they were judged on their cheerleading technique, leadership and all-around cheerleading ability.
Dina demonstrated the cheer quietly in the silence of the library.
Tiffany and Sarah laughed at her subdued efforts. All three girls hold various titles in dance and gymnastics competitions.
They grinned when asked how it felt to be All-American cheerleaders
"I was surprised," Tiffany said. "I was really excited because once they said only seven made it, I wasn't sure I made it."
"I was really happy I got it because I'd only been cheerleading two years and everybody else has a lot more experience," she said with a shy smile.
As part of the All-American team, the girls have the opportunity to march in their choice of events that include the Aloha Bowl, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, or celebrations in Georgia, Chicago or London.