At Laurel High School in Laurel, Maryland, thousands of cheerleaders, coaches, officials and fans packed in for this afternoon’s Maryland State Competition for the Maryland Football and Cheerleading Association, which covers Pop Warner football and cheer. All were anxious to see how the event would turn out as it is a new location from last year and it could be anyone’s competition.
One of the things that makes cheer competition hard is that the cheerleaders work all season mostly never knowing what their competition is up to. They don’t know what dances or stunts the other teams may be perfecting and they don’t even know how much competition they will have in their category. All they know is that they’ve practiced hard and it’s time for some of those football players to now cheer for them.
If you’ve never been to a cheer competition, it can be a surreal experience. On the one hand there is this overwhelming sense of accomplishment because, unless you place first or second, this is the end of your season. On the other hand, everyone is excited for the routine, to see the competition, and for the chance to move on to the next round of competition. Interestingly enough, the very same cheerleaders who have no trouble cheering in front of hundreds of fans each Saturday may find the crowd at competition a little unnerving. Despite that, most will push through the nervousness and hit the mat ready to rock their routines.
In the MFCA (Maryland Football and Cheerleading Association) there are five categories of competition: flag, miteymite, junior pee wee, pee wee, and midget. Each category corresponds to the level of the team the girls cheer for each week. And considering the season began on August 1st, many of these teams are anxious to show off how hard they have been working for the past 2 ½ months.
We welcomed the following teams to the 2009 Maryland State Cheer Competition:
– Bowie Broncos
– Lake Arbor Seahawks
– Laurel Hurricanes
– Northwest Bulldogs
– Northwood Rams
– PG Storm
– Southern MD Redskins
– Woodlawn Falcons
And while all teams did not compete in every category, the competition was fierce and I know it was hard for the judges. While the flag teams only perform and aren’t actually competing, the point of it all is still to execute flawless combinations, work as one unit, wow the crowd, and have fun doing it. In the end, that’s how you win a cheer competition.
For 2009, here are your first, second, third place for each category:
Junior PeeWee: 1st Bowie Broncos, 2nd Northwest Bulldogs, 3rd Lake Arbor Seahawks
Pee Wee: 1st Southern MD Redskins, 2nd Northwood Rams, 3rd Lake Arbor Seahawks
Midgets: 1st Laurel Hurricanes, 2nd Woodlawn Falcons, 3rd Bowie Broncos
Each of the teams who placed first or second will be eligible to compete in the Regional Cheer Qualifier in Trenton, New Jersey in one week. The winners will compete next month, also in Trenton, with the National Cheer and Football Championship in Disney World in December.
Congratulations to all who competed today and will compete in the future for this season.
For more information on the Maryland Football and Cheerleading Association, Pop Warner, and the Northwest Bulldogs, check out the following resources:
Northwest Bulldogs: www.eteamz.com/northwest/
Maryland Football and Cheerleading Association: www.eteamz.com/mfa/
Pop Warner: www.popwarner.com/