Now that’s something to cheer about!
The Old Rochester Pop Warner Cheerleading team won second place at Nationals on Monday, traveling to Florida to compete at the ESPN facilities at Disney World.
Though it is named after the tri-town high school and accepts tri-town participants, the team also has participants from Fairhaven, New Bedford and Dartmouth. Of the ten cheerleaders that went to Nationals, Gabriella Berg, Lauren Rapoza, Mariah Ruell, and Alexa Zell are from Marion while Ashlee Lawrence and Jenna Woodward are from Rochester.
The group accepts cheerleaders starting at age 5 allows cheerleaders to participate until age 15. The years together help with camaraderie.
“I knew from the beginning that the team had promise. They had cheered together for a lot of years,” said Amy Rapoza, cheerleading coordinator.
However, that does not mean that the team had an easy year. They had multiple teammates drop out because of asthma, knee and shoulder injuries and concussions.
Despite the injuries, the team persevered.
“They worked really hard and didn’t give up on themselves. And the parents and coaches really pulled together when they had to,” Rapoza said.
While Rapoza said that she was “thrilled to have the opportunity” to compete at Nationals, she was also nervous as the Dec. 3 competition approached because, “practice the day before didn’t go as well as I had hoped. Still, I was pleasantly surprised and pleased during the competition.”
Though this marks the end of the season for the cheerleaders, they welcome new team members for next year. The season starts Aug. 1 and interested families can sign up on the Old Rochester website.