|
|
Examiner
  • Pop Warner cheerleading squads win first at nationals

  • Two area cheerleading squads won national championships at the Pop Warner National Cheer and Dance Championship Dec. 3 in Orlando, Fla. The competition includes approximately 400 squads in four age divisions, and each division has a small, medium and large classification.

    • email print
  • In 2008, Michele Clemons coached the Pop Warner Independence Patriots Cheerleading Squad to a national championship.
    The longtime cheer coach never imagined that four years later she would coach a team, comprised mostly of siblings from that 2008 squad, to their own national championship.
    “What is so cool about this squad is that they watched their sisters win a national championship, and now they have done the same thing,” Clemons said. “I knew that they were going to be good, but I had no idea that they would place first. That was amazing.”
    Two area cheerleading squads won national championships at the Pop Warner National Cheer and Dance Championship Dec. 3 in Orlando, Fla. The competition includes approximately 400 squads in four age divisions, and each division has a small, medium and large classification.
    The Bears, comprised of 8- to 11-year-olds, placed first out of seven teams in the Junior Peewee Show Cheer Level Three Small Division.
    The Fort Osage Indians, comprised of 11- and 12-year-olds, also placed first out of 16 teams in the Junior Peewee Show Cheer Level Two Small Division. The Indians also had the highest stunt score in the Junior Peewee division as well as the highest total score with 93.28. Last year, they placed third at the competition.
    A third team, the Fort Osage Indians, placed fourth in the Midget Cheer Level One Small Division.
    “It was amazing to see how well they did,” said Tara Salas, coach for the Fort Osage Indians squad. “They worked so hard for this. I think they were really motivated, and to perform as well as they did and win was a great feeling.”
    To qualify for nationals, squads must place in the top two at the local level to advance to the regional competition. Once again, teams must place in the top two at regionals to go on to the national competition. At each level of competition, squads perform a 2-minute, 30-second routine complete with dancing and cheerleading skills.
    The Independence Bears and Fort Osage Indians both placed first at the local and Mid-America Regional Competition, which was held in DeKalb, Ill., in their respective divisions.
    “We go into each competition hoping to do our best and if we do our best, then great things will happen. This time, that was definitely the case,” Clemons said. “Winning is great, but I think being able to work as a team is the most important thing we try to teach the girls. You may not be the best of friends, but you will learn how to respect each other and give 110 percent every time you hit the floor.”
    Salas said during each competition season the girls are a key part of the goal setting and decision-making process, making them integral in the team’s success.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We want them to be able to work for what they want,” she said. “We want them to decide what skills they want to work on and what stunts they want to perfect. It is really about battling themselves and doing the best routine that they can during every competition.”
     

        calendar