Pop Warner Cheerleaders Prep for Disney World
READING, MA – There is a lot to “cheer” about in Reading this month. Two of the Pop Warner cheering squads are headed to Walt Disney World Florida to compete for a national Championship Dec. 7.
The D squad made up of 26 girls in fourth, fifth and sixth grade qualified on Nov. 7 when they finished first at Regionals in Springfield. Then, the 15 girls of C squad followed suit by finishing first on Nov. 14 in their division of sixth graders.
While the C squad was competing on Saturday, the D squad was already out fundraising to offset the cost of the trip, which will be $1,000 per girl. Olivia Fiorenza and Grace Hoag “canned” at Honey Dew Donuts, where the owner gave them a $100 donation, while Taylor McGrath and Ella Keddy did their fundraising at Stop and Shop and said they had a long line of people waiting to donate and the crowd repeated cheers back to them.
Lori Haverty is the head coach of the D Squad along with fellow coaches Sarah True, Chloe Boudette, Tori True and Samantha Bullock. Haverty said that she has been their coach since the beginning of the team five years ago. “For five years I’ve said it’s my last year coaching but I keep coming back,” Haverty said. “They’re great kids.”
According to Bullock, the girls like to hear Haverty is quitting because they feel it brings them good luck.
But Haverty said it is hard work and working together as a team that has brought them so much success. “One Team, One Dream” has become their motto this year. According to Haverty, the team practices three days a week for two hours. In addition to competing, the girls support the Pop Warner football team of the same age.
When asked what the best part of cheering is, member Riley Stapleton responded, “I like being with my teammates.”
The competition is also a nice way to finish coach Boudette’s time with the team. Boudette, who has been coaching the team for four years after being on a team herself, couldn’t be happier about the team’s success as she will be leaving them and going off to college in the fall.
While the girls are excited about going to Disney and, as Keddy said, “seeing Mickey Mouse,” they have a difficult job to do down there. Bullock explained that in a two-minute, 30-second routine, the girls must perfectly perform a cheer, a dance, tumbling, jumps and pyramids.
“One little bobble can bring their scores down,” Bullock explained.
Look for the girls to be fundraising around town or go to their fundraising site to help with their trip