State title belongs to Delmar cheerleaders
By April Durham
The Delmar Pop Warner Peewee Cheerleaders won the cheerleading state title last week after competing in Norristown, Pa. Overwhelmed by the recognition, Jennifer Wheatley, head coach, says she's proud of her girls and she's glad their hard work has paid off.
"In the years past we've always tried to be the best," said Wheatley, "but this year we decided we wanted to be really competitive.
"The girls have worked very hard. They have shown a lot of dedication and enthusiasm for winning."
Coached by ten trainers, the group has 43 members including peewee cheerleaders and mascots.
The girls' ages range from 9 to 14 and each one came from a unique cheerleading background when she joined the group, according to Wheatley.
"When a child signs up for Pop Warner we don't know what kind of ability they have," said Wheatley. "You take the kids as they are and you try to mold them to the Pop Warner philosophy. If and when they leave our program I would hope they have learned the true meaning of sportsmanship, respect for others and that it's not always about winning, but it's about playing fair and being a well rounded person."
Pop Warner strives for physical fitness and academic excellence. At competition, judges look for spirit and enthusiasm, tumbling, dance, stunting (which requires upper body strength and mobility) and a lot of endurance.
Pop Warner also requires that each team have 10 hours of conditioning before doing any type of physical activity such as stunting. "Overall it's a good group of kids, a great coaching staff and very supportive parents and that's why we've been so successful. Everyone has done their part and its been well worth it," said Wheatley.
The cheerleaders will represent the state in the regional finals on Nov. 9 in Trenton, N.J.
If the team places first or second at regionals in its division (Peewee Large
Varsity) it will compete at nationals in Walt Disney World.