Tigers cheerleaders show off their stripes at showcase
The bleachers of the Wareham Elementary school gym overflowed with fans and proud family members as the Wareham Tigers Athletic Association and Cheer Association hosted their first-ever cheer and dance showcase on Monday, Nov. 29.
The crowd was so large that many had to stand on the sidelines.
The Athletic Association consists of those who cheer on the sidelines of Vikings football games, while the Cheer Association competes with other cheerleading groups.
Program organizer Damien Solomon said that the Associations have been trying to host a showcase since 2019, but were delayed due to a lack of facilities and the Covid-19 pandemic, the showcase has been delayed.
“We want to showcase our athletes and it’s for the fans,” Solomon said.
Solomon said that both Associations often travel for their performances, making it difficult for fans and cheer parents to attend every performance.
“This is a chance for Wareham people to see Wareham kids perform,” he said.
The Cheer Association’s Empower and Spirit groups opened the showcase with an electric performance, wowing the crowd with their pyramids and tossing of each other.
The Athletic Association Midgets (kindergarten, first and second graders), Mites (third and forth graders) and PeeWees (fifth, sixth, and seventh graders) took to the mat armed with black and orange pompoms.
The high school dance group, Dance Innovations VIP, was small but mighty with their ‘90s-themed performance. Decked out in camouflage parachute pants, the group performed a choreographed routine to the song “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” by the Backstreet Boys.
According to Solomon, the Cheer Association Pride group has been practicing their routine since June. The group previously won the Quest Recreational Cheer Championships at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Walt Disney World this March.
The Pride group entertained the crowd with twists, flips and back walkovers, an acrobatic stunt in which a cheerleader bends backwards with their hands on the floor, then kicks their legs over to return to a standing position.
After the performances, the athletes competed in a number of contests, including Best Jumps, Best Cheer and Best Tumbling. Each group sent three or four athletes to compete in the Best Jump and Tumbling contests, while the whole team participated in the Best Cheer contest.
Mckenna Duggan, Lydia Keikland, and Star Lopes won the Best Jump contest for the High School’s Vikings cheer team.
“Orange, black and white are the colors we rock,” cheered the PeeWees, who won Best Cheer.
Splits were the stunt of choice during the tumbling competition. Neveah Merritt, Rileigh Brudage, Delaeni Bearce and Ashlynn Duggan won the contest for the Inspire group with their impressive splits and back flips.
Cheer Association Head Coach Sonja Delucia said that the showcase was a great way to start off the competitive cheerleading season.
“I hope they go out there and have a great performance,” she said.