VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (WTKR)- For three hours each day, six days a week, you'll find the Frank Cox competition cheerleading squad working towards its goal- to be the best in the commonwealth.
The team has been putting itself through grueling training for the last three months, pushing each other to be the best. 17 competitors take the mat, led by senior team captain Delaney Estes, who started on her journey in fifth grade.
"I stopped doing ballet," Delaney recalled. "I really liked the stage, but I thought ballet was boring, so I went to competitive cheer."
The practice routine these athletes go through will make anybody think twice about saying that cheerleading isn't a sport, and Delaney will be quick to correct anyone who might hold that viewpoint.
"You're wrong," she chuckled. "It actually takes a lot more practice and unless they've seen what we actually do or come to our practices then they don't really understand."
"They don't really know what it's like to be in our shoes and practice as hard as we do," added Devon Parker-Ashe, who also holds captain status . "We practice every day of the week, even Saturdays, for several hours and I think people don't understand the time commitment and commitment to a team."
Devon and Delaney work hard to lead the group and Devon says that her fellow captain is the heart and soul of the Falcons.
"I think she's been the most dedicated person on this team for the past four years. Every time we finish doing a full-go, it's set up again. If she doesn't do something right the first time, she fixes it the next time."
"I would trust, if something were to happen to us, she could run practice on her own and take care of things that need to be taken care of," noted Cox head coach Bailee Meekings. "She's just a true born leader and, honestly, I don't know what the team would do without her."
The Falcons continue pushing towards their goal and by the time it's time for them to compete at states, they will have put in more than 32,000 minutes of practice for a routine that's a little more than two minutes long.
If you have a student-athlete you feel should be recognized, send your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org.