After an exciting fall season of sideline cheer, the Lake Nona Junior Lions varsity cheer squad took third place at the Southeast Regional Pop Warner Cheer and Dance Championships, held on Nov. 29 at Osceola Heritage Park Silver Spurs Arena.
The 11 Junior Lions cheerleaders, ages 12-14, represented Lake Nona Middle School, Innovation Middle School, and Eastland Christian School. Volunteer coach Sophia Rogers and her student assistants from Lake Nona High School, senior Brendisi Sanders and sophomore Julia Louriero, choreographed the two-minute, 30-second routine the cheer team performed at competitions.
“Our third place finish is an incredible accomplishment for our young team that has just four members who have cheered before,” Rogers said. “Their energy and enthusiasm, along with their diligent commitment to practice sessions, helped us achieve these successful results.”
The cheer season began on Aug. 1 with the girls performing sideline cheers at Lake Nona Junior Lions games. The team switched gears in October to focus on their competitive routines for the fall championships. The team placed second at the Mid-Florida Pop Warner Cheer and Dance Competition, held early in November, which qualified them for regionals.
The Southeast Regional Pop Warner Cheer and Dance Championships included teams from 16 leagues in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. The Junior Lions team’s third-place finish was just two points from second place against a cheer team that went to the national championships last year.
“Although we spend a great deal of our practice time on routines, we also work on performing as a team and supporting each other,” Rogers said. “We learn how to overcome adversity and push through challenges as a team, and that inspires every girl to do her best. Lake Nona Youth Sports is proud of all of our football players and cheerleaders this season.”
Follow Lake Nona Youth Sports on Facebook and visit www.lakenonajrlions.org for more information on the off-season Elite Cheer Team and Under Armour Youth Flag Football.