Local cheerleaders take precautions - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Local cheerleaders take precautions

They fly through the air with the greatest of ease. But when what goes up must come down cheerleading injuries are inevitable.

"To me all sports are a risk, and cheerleading is a risk." says parent Linda Moore whose daughter is on the varsity squad at the Hutchison School.

But the move that injured Southern Illinois cheerleader Kristi Yamaoka could change college conference cheering rules.

"I saw it happen and I was like wow I thought she was hurt worse than she was but I heard she's pretty much okay." said Chris Lowery, cheerleader on the Southern Miss squad.

Lowery and his squad mates were at the CUSA tournament in Memphis when the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators called for a change. The groups is recommending college conferences bar basket tosses and high pyramids without a mat. University of Memphis trainer Frankie Conklin says Tiger cheerleaders save their most dangerous moves for competition.

"On the hardwood floor like a basketball floor, football field I would along with the recommendations it wouldn't bother us at all." said Conklin.

The association holds no official enforcement power over college cheerleading squads but athletic directors and coaches tell us their recommendations hold a lot of weight with the NCAA. U of M cheerleaders aren't rooting for the change.

"I don't think that's something that should pay a consequence for us we take the precautions we follow the rules" said Tiger cheerleader Nicole King.

"They see things that other teams do and they try to mimic it and they really don't know exactly how to do it or protect the people that are in there." said Luke Nowell who has been on the U of M squad for 5 years.

Even Kristi Yamoaka's coach criticized the decision calling it "devastating" and unnecessary.

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