The Revere Pop Warner ‘C’ Squad is No. 1 in the nation again.
Head coach Melissa Elam’s 12 cheerleaders took home the top prize at the National Pop Warner Cheer Championships held Dec. 4 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Two other Revere squads also excelled at the competition. The ‘A’ squad, led by head coach Meredith Stavrinos and assistant coach Kristen Ternullo, finished third in the nation while the ‘D’ squad, led by head coach Gina Raffa and assistant coaches Lucia Marano and Nicole Capozzi, finished second in the nation.
Elam, who was assisted by coaches Drew Nagy and Anna Mendonca, said her squad bested 15 other squads in the Pee Wee Level 2 Small Division. The squad performed a two-and-a-half minute routine in front of a panel of judges and a large crowd inside the Hewlett Packard (HP) Fieldhouse.
Elam had a good feeling after her talented squad hit on all phases of their high-energy, well-choreographed routine.
“I was very happy with their performance,” said Elam who conducted the squad’s initial practices on August 1.
The real drama at nationals comes when the event announcer reads the list of winners, starting with the fifth-place squad and moving up the ladder to the national champion. The Revere cheerleaders waited anxiously with the hope of having their city’s name called last – and to their delight, “Revere” it was, setting off a celebration of unfettered joy.
The Revere contingent not only tallied the highest score in its division but also the highest of all 98 teams competing on that day.
“It’s incredible to win back-to-back national championships,” said Elam. “We’re very excited.”
Eight of the twelve cheerleaders were also members of the 2011 national championship squad. This year’s squad includes Sofia Gendreau, Taylor Sullivan, Jordan Sullivan, Alexa Panzini, Madeline Stuart, Lily Belschner, Hannah Poole, Alyssa Adams, Nicole Mendonca, Jessica Haggerty, Izabella Dampier, and Melanie Leonard.
Board member Tracy Sullivan, whose daughters Taylor and Jordan compete for the title-winning ‘C’ squad, offered congratulations to all the squads on behalf of the Revere Pop Warner organization.
“The girls all did extremely well,” said Sullivan. “The ‘C’ squad winning a second national championship is a tremendous achievement. For the D squad to place second in its first appearance at nationals is a huge accomplishment. Last year the ‘A’ squad didn’t place and this year they came in third and that’s a huge accomplishment as well.”
All the cheerleaders enjoyed their experience at the nationals. During their visit, the girls visited some of the well-known Disney theme parks including Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and EPCOT [Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow].
The cheerleaders will receive special awards in recognition of their appearance in the National Championships at the organization’s breakup banquet.