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We've Got Spirit: The Life and Times of America's Greatest Cheerleading…
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0425173569, Mass Market Paperback)It is a measure of how encompassing the definition of sports is today that high-school cheerleading, once considered little more than a female ancillary to the boys in the spotlight, is now appreciated for the athleticism and teamwork it demands. Of course, there's cheerleading, and then there's Cheerleading with a capital C, and it's the latter, with its own intense competitions and championships, that McElroy lays bare for scrutiny as he lends an ear to its particular rhythms. "We're the no-name sport," he hears Candy Berry, coach of the cheerleading squad at Greenup County High School in rural Kentucky, complain. "We're kind of the forgotten stepchildren. But we're not. We're like Cinderella! We're coming out!"
It's that feistiness that makes We've Got Spirit so entertaining; what makes it engrossing is the way McElroy uses this small window to view a much larger vista. In the tradition of such marvelous and socially astute antecedents as In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle, Where the Game Matters Most, and Friday Night Lights, McElroy follows a team's quest--Greenup's pursuit of a ninth national cheering title--to muck around in the larger issues of individual character, the concepts of teamwork, the ethos of a community, and the impact of success and failure. It's an amazing story, really, of the upsides and downsides of teenage girls, their supportiveness, jealousies, obsessions, and ambitions. Cheerleading may not be, as McElroy makes clear, politically correct, but it sure can be remarkably political and filled with intrigue. Spirit is certainly spirited--and rah-rah, sis-boom-bah for that. --Jeff Silverman
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:18 -0400)
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