WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) – They cheered their way to the top.
The Waterbury Patriots won a national cheer title this week in Florida.
They went in with a winning attitude and ended up winning the title.
Getting first place in the Mighty Mites division at Pop Warner’s National Cheer and Dance Championships.
Despite the confidence going in, all the girls told me they were nervous.
Amelynn Velez said, “I have never performed in front of a lot of people. I’ve performed in front of less people, but not a lot, a lot of people.”
The Patriots won all four of their competitions prior to nationals, but it didn’t come easy.
Head Coach Magda Torres says COVID-19 and other family emergencies forced different girls to sit out each time.
“That was the biggest challenge for us, to have to switch the girls out, literally, every competition they had we’ve lost a girl and had to switch everything around,” said Torres.
But they adapted each time.
Marlese Perez is the cheer coordinator. She said, “we try to train each girl to do different things in the routine, so that way if we have to switch things up, it’s not too crazy. But sometimes you take girls that are usually flown in the air and now they have to pick someone up.”
Even though their win happened on Monday, wearing their medals still feels like it just happened.
Journey Cordero said, “it feels like I just won and it feels good. It feels nice.”
This is not the end of the road for the Patriots.
In February, they’ll be competing in the global in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Because they won nationals, their entry is paid for.