Pop Warner cheer squads qualify for national championships

Two Shelton cheer squads have advanced to The 2012 Pop Warner Cheer and Dance Championships at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.

The Midget and Pee Wee cheerleaders each competed at The New England Regional Championships in Springfield, Mass. on Saturday, Nov. 10.

Close to 100 cheer squads competed at the Mass Mutual Center, with the top two in each division earning the coveted trip to Disney. To reach Regionals the teams had to advance through The Southern CT Pop Warner championships, state championships, and N.E. Regional qualifiers.

Now Shelton will join other elite cheer teams from across the country with a chance at taking home a national championship.

“In 2010, Midget and Pee Wee teams from Shelton both took home the top honors from Disney,” Tim Monteleone, president of Shelton Pop Warner, said. “This year’s teams are amazing and have a chance to do the same.”

The teams will be spending the next few weeks practicing and fundraising to offset the expenses

“Our cheerleaders and parents will be busy canning and running fund-raisers all over town,” said Jody Bednarz, cheer coordinator. “The girls have been working very hard for many months to get to this point, so we have to fundraise, lower costs, and assure everyone can go.”

Parents will have to shoulder the load of getting their children to Florida. Donations from individuals and local business will help assure every member of the teams, even those with financial limitations, can participate in this amazing experience.

The championships are Dec. 1-8, so kids will miss some school time.

Pop Warner Little Scholars is the only youth sports organization in the United States that requires its participants to maintain certain academic standards in order to be eligible for play. They will have classrooms available at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex throughout the week that will serve as Study Hall rooms. Coaches will sign up for access to these rooms at the Registration Center when they register their team.

These rooms will have computer workstations that may be used, as well as internet access for the students to use.

The Pop Warner Little Scholars staff and volunteers will continue to emphasize the importance of education by making sure the participants that come to the national championships have study sessions in a classroom setting available to them every day during their stay in Orlando.

If interested in donation, email Mike Boyce at vikingspr@att.net.