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Cheerleaders from Eastchester and Tuckahoe Shine

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Varsity cheerleaders from Tuckahoe and Eastchester high schools did not come home with any trophies from the 63rd Annual Cheerleading Invitational that took place in White Plains Monday night, but all of the girls returned with the satisfaction of giving it their all.

"I give them a score of 100 percent for their effort," said Eastchester High School Coach Samantha Kearns. "Their energy was awesome. I am very happy with their performance."

The Eastchester High School Varsity team has only 11 members. The next step for the team is a regional competition at Hofstra University on December 3, followed by a National Competition.

"I have no doubt that we will make it to the National Competition," Kearns said.

The Invitational event, held at the Westchester County Center, is a showcase more than anything else. Teams from throughout Westchester County spend hours waiting to have a few minutes before a panel of judges who rate them on jumps, tumbles and other parts of their performance.

Although the cheerleaders are in competition with one another, they all cheer each other on.

"They understand the work that's involved in cheerleading, " said Tuckahoe High School Assistant Cheerleading Coach Tina Garcia. "What they do is incredibly difficult."

Tuckahoe High School Cheerleading Coach Tonia Marie Gallo said her team works on their presentation for the Invitational throughout their season cheering on the Tuckahoe Tigers.

"This is usually our last event of the season," Gallo said. "We don't have the funding to attend the regional event."

But this year, the 20 member team will continue to participate in several more events and may take part in the regional competition.

"We are working on our program," Gallo said. "We hope to keep building until we build our program up."

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