(Nov. 2, 2018) The Berlin Pop Warner Junior Pee Wee cheerleaders will be participating in the Eastern Regional event on Saturday, Nov. 3, in Trenton, New Jersey, where the team hope to reach the championship held at Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports on Dec. 3.
The Berlin Junior Pee Wee group advanced to regionals after taking first place during the Henlopen competition in Smyrna, Delaware, Oct. 13.
There are 26 Junior Pee Wee cheerleaders – 25 girls and one boy – on the squad this year, ranging in age from 8-11 years old. Several of them have competed at regionals before.
“This is the second year they have been able to compete,” Junior Pee Wee Head Coach Heather Selby said. “Most of them I’ve been with the four years I’ve coached. I have five new kids that I never coached before, who I don’t think have ever done cheerleading. They’re all super excited because most of them this is their second regionals so they’re looking forward to hopefully taking a win to make it to Disney.”
The squad started training for the competition in August, getting together four nights a week, or 10 hours a week. Once school started, practices were cut to six hours per week. In addition, the cheerleaders perform every Saturday during Pop Warner football games.
They will be competing against teams from Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania on Saturday, with their first routine at 3 p.m.
“They’ve done really well,” Coordinator Debbie Donahue said. “They’re very young. Some on the team have competed on the regional level before, but most of them have not.”
The cheerleaders will perform a two-minute 30-second routine consisting of cheer, dance, tumbling, tosses, pyramids and stunts. The competition is judged in points for choreography and showmanship.
If the team earns first or second place at regionals, the cheerleaders will advance to the national championship at Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports during the first week of December.
In addition to the Junior Pee Wee cheerleaders, the Junior Varsity squad will also compete in the Eastern Regional competition in Trenton, New Jersey, the following Saturday, Nov. 10.
There, 18 girls, ages 10-13, will also perform a short cheer routine for a place at the Disney championship.
All adult volunteers go through certification programs and participants rely on donations to attend national championships. It costs $1,000 per person to travel to nationals. Both squads have nine coaches each this year.
“We are in the process of deciding which way we are going to go,” Donahue said. “We are looking at different events we can do, such as small fundraisers, bake sales, etc., but we’re also asking for sponsorship and donations from local businesses.”
A potential bake sale located at the Walmart in Berlin is also being considered.
“If anybody wants to donate, that’s our biggest thing right now,” Selby said. “This is a pretty large team with 26 kids, with all of us going to Disney, plus the nine coaches. It’s definitely [going to be] a lot of fundraising going on if we do advance this Saturday. We’re excited and working hard.”
Berlin Pop Warner is accepting monetary donations for its football and cheer programs. Donations are tax deductible and can be mailed to: Worcester County Youth Football P.O. Box 1517 Berlin, Maryland, 21811.
For more information on the Worcester County Youth Football and Cheerleading Berlin Seahawks, call 443-783-8623 or visit www.BerlinSeahawks.com.