Making history: Carthage youth cheerleaders heading to national competition

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CARTHAGE, N.Y. (WWTI) — Carthage Pop-Warner Cheerleaders are on the road to making history.

After taking home first place at Cheer Eastern Regional Competition on November 7, the Carthage Comets Pop-Warner PeeWee Cheer Team is heading to the National Pop Warner Championship competition in Orlando Florida. This is the first time the team has reached this milestone in the organization’s history.

The team is comprised of ten young athletes, ranging in age from 10 to 12 years old. Many of the team members have been involved in the sport for many years. Half of the team members also are in active military families.

However, the entire team has persevered through COVID obstacles to reach this historic milestone. According to Head Coach Genevive Ball and Assistant Coach Amber Gates, due to quarantines and exposures, they had a full month without a team.

Ball said obstacles really hit when the team first arrived at the Eastern Regional Competition earlier this month.

“We weren’t even sure if we had a full routine. We went out on the practice mat and the girls were so stressed out that they just, everything fell,” Ball said. “But then when we actually went out to compete, they stuck everything and they were so proud of themselves.”

“And that is the most rewarding thing is to see those girls actually hit everything and be so proud of themselves. It’s it makes everything so worth it,” Ball added.

As Carthage Pop Warner is a non-profit organization, the team is now raising money to get the young cheerleaders to Florida for the competition slated to begin in early December. The cost for each athlete is roughly $1,500.

“So we’re just trying to raise the money so that they can. And have a good time,” Ball said.

Fundraising efforts include a bake sale at Mimi’s Diner and Family Dollar in Carthage from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on November 19., a bottle and can drive in Carthage on November 21 and a GoFundMe page titled “Carthage Comets road to Nationals,” with a goal of $5,000.

Carthage Pop Warner will compete at the National Competition on December 8. Donations can be made online on the GoFund Me page.

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