Devo DeBolt and his wife, Annie, both former college cheerleaders, opened Minnesota Xtreme in May 2014. They've been in the cheer coaching business for years but recently moved to Rochester to raise their family. DeBolt said the cheer program is a place where children can grow."We're teaching teamwork and discipline, accountability which is a huge one in today's day and age, making sure that young people are accountable for their actions, not just to themselves and their parents, but also to teammates and other people that they make be working with at any given time. It also teaches hard work, a lot of time a lot of effort, a lot of perfection," said DeBolt.
Matt Koran is a seventeen-year-old in his second year of cheer leading. He said it's something he really enjoys.
Parents seem pleased with the impact cheer has on their children as well. Colleen Hjortaas' twelve-year-old daughter Avery is an enthusiastic cheer leader.
DeBolt said he sees a bright future for all his cheerleaders.
"We want to have a huge effect on cheer leading in Minnesota. It's growing nationally in a lot of places and we're looking to help that expand her in the state of Minnesota, and help it get back to it's roots where cheer leading was actually started here in Minnesota at the University of Minnesota."
The experiences within the cheer program has inspired the participants to cheer in the future as well.
"I want to go to the University of Minnesota and do competitive cheer there, that would be really fun, or just wherever I could cheer at. I'd like to get a scholarship for it too, that would be pretty cool," said Koran."A local school has decided to start a competitive elementary team, so I will be coaching that," said eighteen-year-old Makayla Brummer.
Colleen's daughter Avery is looking for a future in cheer as well. "Well, when I get older and I can't cheer I want to be a cheer coach," said Avery Hjortaas.
All the smiles at practice seem to be genuine because the kids said they all love what they're doing.As Koran put it, "Minnesota Xtreme is awesome, just do it! Why not? Try out for it."