Members of the Fallsburg Pop Warner Midget cheer-leading team heading to Disney World for the National Championships are (top row to bottom, left to right): Emily Bassett, Mayra Olden-King; Kim Mahler, Makaela Bryden; Mellia Kimble, Olivia Steigler, Jiovanna Gonzalez; Cheyenne Lapolt, assistant coach Kierra Miller, Mercedes Gonzalez; Krista Novello, Cassandra Reyes, Tiara Payton.
FALLSBURG November 26, 2013 The Fallsburg Pop Warner Midget cheerleaders are going to Disney World!
They became the first Fallsburg Pop Warner squad to advance to the Nationals since the program started in Fallsburg 10 years ago. In Orlando, there will be more than 400 teams from around the country competing on December 13 20 in their division (Midget, Small, PW1).
One of four age divisions within the Fallsburg Pop Warner, the Midgets are the oldest, comprised of 12 girls ages 11-15. They come from the Monticello, Liberty, Tri-Valley, Ellenville and Fallsburg School districts. The team members are: Emily Bassett, Makaela Bryden, Jiovanna Gonzalez, Mercedes Gonzalez, Mellia Kimble, Cheyene Lapolt, Kimberley Mahler, Krista Novello, Myra Olden King, Tiara Payton, Cassandra Reyes, and Olivia Steigler.
Eight of them are returnees with multiple years of previous experience while four are brand new.
The Midget Comets, as they are known, qualified for the Nationals by finishing second out of 12 teams at the Eastern Regional Finals November 17 in Albany. During the season, they cheer at Fallsburg Pop Warner football home and away games against teams from Ulster, Orange, Westchester and Putnam counties.
The cheerleading routines consist of tumbling, dance, cheer, stunting and inviting audience participation. Their head coach is Keri Whitehead and Kierra Miller is the assistant.
“Their success is hugely attributable to Keri and Kierra,” said Fallsburg Pop Warner president Lewis Borko. “My hat goes out to them.”
Said Whitehead: “These girls are super girls who have worked so hard.”
Borko is now spearheading a fundraising drive to offset the cost of the trip to Orlando, which he estimates will run a total of $19,000.
“This is a significant task,” said Borko. “We are reaching out to our community. Monetary donations will benefit our cause greatly; however, any donation that any corporation/organization is able to donate will be utilized effectively.”
As part of that community outreach, the Midgets were invited by SUNY Sullivan athletic director Chris DePew to perform at halftime of tonight’s men’s basketball game against SUNY Orange at the Paul Gerry Fieldhouse. Borko said that they will be able to sell raffles and 50/50 tickets to those in attendance.
If you’re interested in contributing to the Midget Comets’ trip to Orlando, please contact Borko at 845-866-0764 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sponsorships are also available.