Old Rochester Youth Cheer team advances to national championship

Nov 17, 2023

MATTAPOISETT — The Old Rochester Peewee Cheer Team will tumble their way to Orlando, Fla. after winning the New England Regional Championship on Saturday, Nov. 11 in Springfield.

On Dec. 7, the team, which consists of fifth through seventh graders, will compete for the Pop Warner Cheer and Dance national championship.

The team, led by head coaches Courtlyn Lindsay and Felicia Troy, is in its second year of competing after a hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Peewee cheer team is a part of Old Rochester Youth Football and Cheerleading.

According to Lindsay, only about half of the roster had prior experience entering the season.

“It has been a tremendous turnaround, they have all grown so much,” she said.

“They like to have fun but also put their heads down and work,” said Troy. “They are very coachable and are hungry to learn.”

At the regional championship in Springfield, the team learned what it’s like to perform in front of judges and a large crowd.

“I was really nervous, but I tried to smile through it,” said fifth grade cheerleader Evelyn Wainio. “You don’t even see all of the people looking at you. You are focused on what you are supposed to be doing.”

The team will travel down to Orlando on Dec. 5 and have one day of practice before the competition.

“I think the most important thing for us in Orlando is that these girls create some core memories,” said Troy. “We want them to have an experience to look back on for themselves.”

Assistant Coach Elizabeth Wainio credits Lindsay and Troy for preparing the team for success.

“Courtlyn and Felicia are amazing,” she said. “They choreograph everything and come from cheer backgrounds.”

Since starting their season on Aug. 1, the team has grown very close and “practices have gotten a lot harder because we can’t get them to stop talking,” said Troy. “But they are definitely a family — they lean on each other.”

Lindsay said she wants her team to be proud of their success and hard work no matter the result on competition day.

“We want them to know that they went out there and did the best they could and to come off the mat and know that they put on an amazing performance,” she said.

The program is selling t-shirts in order to raise money for their trip to Orlando. For more information, visit the Old Rochester Youth Football and Cheerleading Facebook page.