WDC cheerleaders ready for Citrus Bowl
The Wadena-Deer Creek football cheerleading team is in Florida preparing for a performance at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando Jan. 1. After months of fundraising and practices, the group was excited to be on their way earlier this week. "We couldn't h...
The Wadena-Deer Creek football cheerleading team is in Florida preparing for a performance at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando Jan. 1.
After months of fundraising and practices, the group was excited to be on their way earlier this week.
"We couldn't have done this without the support of the community," said cheerleading coach Holly Becker.
The team had a two hour practice Monday afternoon at the WDC school gym. They were working up a sweat.
"They had to learn six dances total in 12 days," Becker said.
Two weeks earlier, WDC was sent a CD and DVD with the music and routine, along with uniforms. Becker studied the routine and shared it with the 12-girl squad. Since then the girls have been practicing morning and night.
"We had practices four days a week, morning and after school," Becker said.
The girls have also been practicing at home, in the hallways at school - anywhere and everywhere.
"It's really exciting because I don't know that people thought we could raise the money and get there," said cheerleader Kloe Pettit-Sperling.
She's looking forward to spending time and making memories with the other girls on the squad, which is like family to her.
"It's been crazy and everyone has been working so hard," said co-captain Athea Perez. "It's amazing how supportive everyone has been. The school, the community."
The WDC squad will be performing during the pregame show for the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl. Other cheer squads will also perform during the show. They will be among hundreds of other cheerleaders from across the country.
The No.14 Michigan Wolverines and the No.19 Florida Gators face off in the 70th anniversary of the New Year's Day game.
The pregame starts at approximately 12:35 p.m. Eastern time or 11:35 p.m. Central time. The football game starts at 1 p.m. Eastern time. It will be televised on ABC.
The girls worked hard to get to the Citrus Bowl.
This event is invite only. In July, the 12 members of the WDC cheer squad completed a stunt camp with Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) and scored high enough to qualify for the once in a lifetime performance.
After the team found out they were invited to perform at the Citrus Bowl, they had to figure out how to raise money to make it to Florida. The cost was $750 per girl for the trip to Florida.
Along with performing at the Citrus Bowl and UCA rehearsals, the girls would also get to visit the theme parks at Disney World.
Cheerleaders painted driveways during Homecoming week, sold concessions, sold pizza, bused tables and worked hard to raise the money.
The last fundraiser to earn the remaining $750 needed to send the WDC cheer team to the Citrus Bowl in January was a huge success. Cheer coach Holly Becker was "arrested" and taken to "jail" in October in the hopes that Wadena citizens would raise the remaining funds and pay her "bail." Becker and two members of her squad braved cold temperatures and windy conditions to sit on the corner of Colfax and Jefferson in front of the Pemberton Law Firm to complete their fundraising efforts.
The cheer team thanks all of its supporters who contributed to make this trip a reality.
The girls were nervous for their performance Jan. 1 in Florida but said they were confident they would do well.
"It's been fun," said cheerleader Lacey Malone. "To be down there performing in front of thousands of people will be so great."
Memorizing the six dances in just a few days was difficult and took a lot of muscle memory but they worked hard to make it happen.
To watch the WDC cheer team performance turn on ABC for the pregame show, which begins at approximately 11:35 a.m. Friday, Jan. 1.