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It is a new season for The Dalles Cheer team. And while the expectations remain high for the group’s state outlook, given past success, Saturday’s performance was historic on many levels. Competing in the coed small-school division for the first time in program history, The Dalles put together a third-place effort versus eight other 6A and 5A schools at the Pacer Invitational in Lakeridge.

Normally, dancers and cheerleaders perform at smaller venues in front of mainly family and friends. There are some nerves, some sweating and nervous anticipation, but the adrenaline is pumping. On Saturday, Dec. 8, 47 members of The Dalles Dance Club Academy were given an opportunity to show off a six-minute routine in front of a capacity crowd of 19,359 at the Moda Center in Portland during a Trail Blazers basketball game.

The Dalles cheer coach Kelsey Wallace envisions a large contingent of girls who want to be a part of the cheer family. After attracting more than 30 prospects from kindergarten-through-eighth grades at the annual youth cheer clinic on Dec. 14, the building aspect has just begun.

To the editor: Mama Hattie and my Sunday school teachers taught me that to hate was a diabolical sin. An example is the nightly proliferation of low-level jokes and questionable humor thrown at Trump on television talk shows.