EAST ORANGE – East Orange Junior Jaguars’ new direction has resulted in something unexpected: the Junior Jaguars are making history when they go down to Florida next month. They are sending their Midget cheerleaders to the National Pop Warner Little Scholars Super Bowl and Cheer Competition at Walt Disney World’s the Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.
Most of the squad of Junior Pee Wee cheerleaders are now eighth-graders, with a few ninth-graders who stayed, just to accomplish this before moving on to high school cheerleading at East Orange Campus High School in the 2015-2016 basketball season. The Junior Jaguars cheerleaders recently hosted a mini-pep rally for the cheerleaders, utilizing this event to prepare the Junior Pee Wee cheerleaders for the Pop Warner Eastern Region Level 1 Medium Division Championships at Sun Bank Arena in Trenton.
The Midget Lady Junior Jags, led by team Captain Destiny Marcus and Co-Captain Milan Colter, defeated seven other cheer teams while placing behind their toughest competition, the Thundercats of Philadelphia, in the Level 1 Small Midget Group competition. “This is a big opportunity to become spoons, not forks,” said Jenna McKoy, a Junior Pee Wee cheerleader for the Junior Jags. She went on to explain, “We are like a family and we all want this opportunity!” Destiny, who is a 6-year veteran of the squad, pointed out they are the first Pop Warner cheer team from the East Orange area to go to Disney for this annual event. “I stayed because I wanted to go to Disney World with my team before I go to high school,” said the freshman.
“We are looking to raise money for the trip that will cover airfare, hotel, meals and park entrance fees for the week that we are down there” said Junior Jaguars President Fritz Dupiche. They are accepting donations and sponsorships from the community to help bring home the championship trophy and “show the rest of the country what we are made of,” said Destiny Marcus.
Junior Pee Wee Junior Jaguars cheerleaders Jenna McKoy, Tanaya Watson, Kiara Green, Kaliyah Bennett and Aubria King competed against a tough field of cheer teams in the Eastern Region competition, but were not able to qualify for the national competition and go with their elder cheer sisters. “We are a family and we want all of our teammates to have this experience with us,” concluded Destiny.
For more information on sponsoring and donating to the Junior Jaguars for this trip, visit Bogies Lounge, 527 William St., East Orange, on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 6 p.m. This an adult celebration for the Junior Jaguars achievement. Bogies is also donating 100 percent of the proceeds raised to help sponsor the team. Donors can donate via https://www.gofundme.com/eojjagscheer.
“The cost would be close to $40,000,” said Dupiche, “and we would like to see everyone support us as we prepare to compete at the highest level in youth cheerleading, as well as represent our city in something that will last a lifetime with our young ladies and coaching staff.”