The Seekonk Junior Warriors placed fifth in the American Youth Football and Cheer National Championships at the Silver Spurs Arena in Orlando, FL, on Sunday.
The nine girls of the 13-and-under cheerleading squad took on the best competition in the country and were able to snag a top-five finish in their 12-team Division 13 bracket.
Head Coach Kathy Shillan said the girls were very excited to finish fifth, as this was the first time any Seekonk team had advanced to the national competition.
“Just being there was incredible,” Shillan said.
“They did great, and we’re very proud of them and how they represented Seekonk,” said Mary Jane Bernard, president of the Seekonk Jr. Warriors.
Shillan said the girls kept practicing right up to the competition and by the time they had to perform, they really were coming together.
“They did it (their routine) the best they’ve ever done it,” Shillan said.
Shillan said the national competition was a great experience for the girls. They were able to meet with and talk to a number of different cheerleading squads from all parts of the United States.
The Junior Warriors were also able perform a cheer with all the other competing teams, of which there are more than 130. This occurred after the presentation of the Kraft Foods Huddle to Fight Hunger “Giving Back League of the Year” award.
The AYF/AYC members have collected several tons of food, and in return for “Likes” on Facebook, Kraft will donate up to 25 million meals to local Feeding America food banks.
The Junior Warriors were able to go to the nationals following their third-place finish in the New England Regional Championships on Nov. 27.