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North Pop Warner Varsity cheer squad springs to regionals

November 7, 2019
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

The North Fort Myers Red Knights Pop Warner program will have one cheer squad represent them for the upcoming regional cheer off in Orlando Thanksgiving weekend.

The varsity squad was the lone North program to get out of Peace River Conference competition, winning the Level 3 cheering competition last month at Hertz Arena.

In what has been a rebuilding season at North, the varsity squad, coached by Randy Newmann, put on a nearly flawless routine, a must since an entire cheer season basically comes down to a two-and-a-half-minute routine where one false move could end the season.

But for a program used to sending teams to nationals and sometimes winning, this season has had its challenges.

"We had a clean routine and we hope we can do the same thing at regionals," Newmann said. "I think a lot of the teams around here came out more prepared than we did. We weren't as prepared and some of the rainouts we had hindered us. I think we had more than other programs."

Programs such as junior varsity and Junior Pee-Wee advanced a level this year, making it tougher for them to advance against tougher competition.

The girls who got through to regionals have been part of the program for years and have been on some teams that did really well in the past. Newmann said she has coached some of the girls for three years.

"It helps me because it helps to get them ready for varsity and move up in a higher level. This year we went to Level 3, which is two levels above where we have been," Newmann said. "This year was certainly a learning experience."

Tarahlynn Dinkens, one of the team members, said the team is having fun getting its routine down. She also gives credit to Newmann for getting them ready.

"She's been getting us ready and conditioning a lot and working on our endurance. We're doing a lot of difficult stunts and choreography," Dinkens said.

Alenia Moore said the team was trained to perform at the top level after years at Level 1 through conditioning and repetition. It just a shame that nobody else is going with them.

"It was really hard to go to Level 3, but we knew we could do it. It stinks that we're the only team going to regionals, so it's put a lot of pressure on us to make football and cheer proud." Moore said.

The only drawback to the regional cheer-off is that they will miss Thanksgiving at home. But at least they can be with their friends and teammates.

"Some in my family is going to stay for the turkey and come up. We may miss Thanksgiving, but if we win regionals, we know that our hard work paid off," Dinkens said.

A victory will put North Varsity in Nationals, also in Orlando, at Disney.



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