But Michael Herrick, who plays football for the Hegewisch Bulldogs of the Metro Youth Football League, can do more than rush the quarterback. The 13-year-old Thornton boy also runs long distance for his school's track team, and he is a competitive cheerleader.
"My sisters have done it since they were little and my mom thought it was something I might like," Michael said of how he became involved in competitive cheer.
He enjoys cheer for the competitive nature of the sport, and he appreciates that it has helped him develop his athletic abilities.
Michael will likely give up cheer next year when he is a freshman in high school. He is being recruited by several private schools that want him for his overall athletic abilities, but none of those institutions have competitive cheer programs. That is okay with Michael, as much as enjoys he sport football is his favorite, and he aspires to one day play in the stadium known as "The Swamp" for the University of Florida Gators.