Rumbling in their footsteps


photo by Jessie Burton

Senior Angel Pagan rumbles with aspiring cheerleader.

Madeline Kemper, News Editor

As senior Julia Green cheers in the parade route and spots her pee wee cheerleaders waving excitedly, she is taken back to when she went to Carillon Elementary.

“It always seemed like high school was so far away, but now that it’s a reality it makes me realize the mark you leave on those girls,” Green said.

The Pop Warner Cheer and Football Program, dedicated to developing future athletes, is expanding in their relationship with the high school program. The cheer team has found ways to get involved through events, volunteer work and even on the sidelines.

One of the earliest events of the year was Youth Camp held on June 1-4. The camp is open to anyone, but typically attracts girls from the pop warner program.

“[Youth Camp is] before the Pop Warner’s season starts so that cheerleaders can come in and test the waters before they fully commit to a full year of Pop Warner,” junior coach Emily Sorace said.

The biggest event is the Pre-Comp hosted by cheerleaders on Oct. 7. It provided an opportunity for the Pop Warner teams to practice their competition routines before the first competition on Oct. 17. The high school team assisted in spotting and performed a routine.

“When I perform in front of people I don’t ever get scared and I always feel happy to get a medal or a trophy,” first grade Pop Warner cheerleader Samatha Sweat said.

Cheerleaders also have the opportunity to volunteer with the Pop Warner program as junior coaches. They assist in creating current routines. In addition, junior they act as role models.

Senior Gabriella Grinstead coaches second and third graders this season.

“[Second and third grade] was the perfect age, because they are just old enough to really take direction and are starting develop their own personality,” Grinstead said. “The bond I developed with them throughout the season made it all worth it.”

Being a junior coach is a large time commitment, with three practices a week lasting over two hours. For Sorace, that means going to multiple practices and getting home at eight.

Aside from events within the Pop Warner program, the girls also had the opportunity to come out to the track during their own football games to cheer with the varsity team.

“We have the girls come out during the Husky rumble, which is the cheer that the crowd gets most involved in,” Grinstead said. “They get to cheer with their role models and experience the Friday night lights.”

As the Pop Warner Program looks forward to their regional competition on Fri Nov. 27, they look to improve their routine to match the standards set by their junior coaches and varsity cheerleaders.

“I like doing things with older cheerleaders because they don’t drop me and they teach me how to do big girl stuff,” Sweat said. “I want to cheer in high school because I will probably be a flyer and my sister cheers and I want to be like her.”