The Ravens' varsity, junior varsity and novice cheer teams will compete at the 2014 JAMZ Youth Nationals Competition, January 23 to 27, at New Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
"It is so rewarding to see these cheerleaders work so hard all season and reap the benefits at competition," said Ravens' cheer representative Sue Powers. "I am so proud of all three of our cheer teams. I am looking forward to seeing these young ladies compete at Nationals in January."
The Ravens' novice cheer team had been disqualified from the TVYFL competition for a violation of rules.
But behind an effort from coaches and parents, the squad won an appeal of the violation, accepting the bid to compete in Las Vegas instead.
"The novice cheerleaders put their trust in their coaches and myself to fight for what was right," Powers said. "What a great lesson in life for these young ladies: they trusted us, and we fought for them, because we never stopped believing in them."
On Nov. 18, the novice cheerleaders found out that they had won second-place at the league event, and made it into the national competition.
None of the cheerleaders or their parents knew the news was coming, and when word leaked that the local contingent was Las Vegas-bound, the dining room at Mountain Mike's Pizza in Patterson erupted with glee and applause.
"These young ladies came out Monday through Thursday all season long to learn cheers and dance routines," Powers said. "Some nights were freezing cold and it was hard to concentrate, but these girls worked together every night as a team."
Coached by Misty Stonebarger and assistant Yvonne Gomez, the Ravens' novice cheerleaders are: Samantha Babasa, Destiny Boyd, Amanda Cardoza, Aaralyne Flores, Ayana Guardado, Marisa Jack, Dominique Martinez, Kamora McCowan, Delilah Ramirez, Monica Rosas, Isabelle Rubio, Evelyn Silva, Ramona Urrutia and Yadira Vivero.
The Ravens' varsity cheer squad also took second-place honors at the TVYFL event.
Coached by Eileen Fernandez and assistant Karissa Jones, the Ravens' varsity cheerleaders are: Madelan Adam, Annya Alonzo, Giselle Arevalo, Sarah Canseco, Asia Durazo, Alin Ferrer, Rose Garcia, Lilibeth Garza, Nicole Hubble, Rocio Lopez, Marielle Lopez-Myers, Alexandra Maldonado-Silva, Mariah Martell, Sabrina McManus, Emily-Grace Powers, Valerie Solarez, Tatianna Tafoya, Aliah Taylor, Mary Tyler and Victoria Vasquez.
The local youth cheerleading program took third place in the JV division at the league competition.
"When I think about my girls, or look at them, I get a huge sense of pride," said Ravens' JV coach Julie Quiroba. "I only have seven girls, as opposed to those squads who have more than 20, so I have a very close relationship with all of them."
Quiroba and assistant Jennifer Rodriguez helped polish the Ravens' JV cheerleaders: Haley Autry, Yahaira Cuevas, Kaya Durazo, Andrea Frunz, Angilee Hassan, Rosalinda Mercado and Jessica Waybright.
"I told my girls it wasn't enough to place and go to Vegas. We will put all we have in this going forward, wanting to win first place and not settle for anything less," Quiroba said. "But if we don't win first or place at all, I want the girls to know that no matter what, I am beyond proud of them. They should go to bed every night and wake up every morning, smiling and knowing how lucky they are."
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.