A cheer of a lifetime

Kevin Clifford/Nevada AppealPierron Tackes, 17, a senior at Bishop Manogue High School from Carson City.

Kevin Clifford/Nevada AppealPierron Tackes, 17, a senior at Bishop Manogue High School from Carson City.

You know what they say about New York minutes - but how about a New York hour, or three?

Traveling on the busiest day of the year, Carson resident Pierron Tackes, 17, a senior at Bishop Manogue Catholic High School in Reno, and her family flew to New York with co-cheerleading captains Holly Breeden, 17, and Samantha Presley, 17, of Reno and their families.

The trio will spend the next three days in and out of rehearsal, culminating in an appearance in front of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and millions of television viewers in the 83rd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

It was a rough start Saturday.

"We had a major disaster getting from the airport to the hotel," Tackes said. "It took us an hour to get our Towncar - then we got a flat in (Manhattan).

"We were near Times Square, so we walked three blocks to our hotel, when we were told we were at the wrong Hilton. So, we took another car to the right Hilton and went to rehearsal."

With barely enough time to catch their collective breath, the girls were immediately joined by 600 cheerleaders and dancers from around the nation to fine-tune the Thanksgiving Day performance.

"First rehearsal was three hours," Tackes said. "It just took a long time to get organized and then to start getting the dance down as a group."

But day one in New York wasn't all foibles and hard work, Tackes said.

"The girls are really great. In my (dance) group are girls from West Virginia, Virginia, California and Colorado - we're just all excited to be here," she said.

Slightly overcast with a little rain and "pretty cold" is how Tackes described the crisp New York on-set of winter. But that hasn't stopped the trio from taking in the sights and sounds of the Big Apple.

"I think all of us are excited to have our families here and to be doing touristy stuff," Tackes said.

"We're in rehearsal every day but Tuesday - but that'll still give us time to go to Broadway shows, out to dinner and to see everything that's here. It's Holly and Sam's first time - we're all just taking it in."

On the eve of her departure, Presley said she was looking forward to celebrating her 18th birthday Tuesday in New York with her mother and grandmother.

"We're going to see Cyrano de Bergerac with Jennifer Garner and Kevin Klein," she said. "We're also going to try to see the Rockettes - and I know we're going shopping."

Cindy Breeden, Holly's mother, said she's most proud of the girls' dedication to cheerleading along with keeping well-rounded in other aspects of their personal and academic lives.

"All of the girls are so committed," Breeden said. "This (trip) and being in the parade really is the icing on the cake of the four years of hard work they've put in.

"Cheer is a demanding sport - demanding of their time and physically demanding. A couple weeks ago we were in the stands at a Galena (football) game and the girls were literally being blown off their boxes. I think all us parents in the stands were thinking how much time and energy they've put in. So, yes, being able to do this trip - it represents a lot of hard work."

The girls and their families found out about the parade in July. They were sent a video in the mail of the routine three months ago and, since then, it's been rehearsal and anticipation.

Any butterflies for the actual parade day?

"Not really," Carson's Tackes said. "With so many of us in the group, working hard, I think it'll go well.

"I'm just really excited - I'll probably be nervous the morning of. But for now, it's just great to be back here, the girls are great - and it's just fun to be a part of it all."

• Contact reporter Andrew Pridgen at apridgen@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.


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