A pair of Methuen cheerleading teams qualified for the Pop Warner Cheer & Dance Nationals held in Orlando, Fla., last month. The Varsity team finished third and the PeeWee team landed in fifth.

Learn about both squads’ seasons here, courtesy of Cheer Director Lauren Leopold.

Varsity team

Roster: Led by Head Coach and Cheer Director Lauren Leopold. Assisted by Jacqueline Drapeau, Taylee Godjikian, Priscilla Encalada and Michele Drapeau. Team members: Naura Abdallah, Valerie Abrego, Emma Demers, Kianna Doucette, Giovanna Encalada, Avalise Fernandez, April Gross, Gabriella Guardado Rodriguez, Faith Hargreaves, Anne Louis, Arianna Marchand, Kalisse Mauras, Jaylena Nunez, Nayaliz Ogando, Jesani Ortiz, Jomary Ortiz, Kensley Ouellette, Alexia Oviedo, Sofia Pabon, Brianna Rizza, Jaimhelee Rodriguez, Evolet Tavares Soto, Valerie Vasquez and Aviana Witty.

The Varsity team of 24 had a long road to the National stage! Starting the season with 9 girls, over a third of the team, who were brand new to the sport and the coaches choreographing one of the more structurally difficult routines that they have done, it took a lot of drive and dedication from the team to become the confident unstoppable team that they did. We had our bumps along the way but over the season the coaches watched this team come together, form bonds, overcome obstacles, and reach their goals! After receiving a qualifying score of 93.3% at the Regional level, they took their dreams to the National stage. You always hope for top three to be able to walk out of there with a trophy but I really just wanted them to perform a routine that they were proud of and experience that euphoric feeling of hitting at Nationals, the rest is just bonus! The team was honored to finish 3rd place in their division alongside other really incredible teams from across the country. Even the announcer said this was one of the toughest divisions they had seen of the whole day! This season was definitely one for the books! We are so pleased with its outcome and incredibly proud of our athletes!

PeeWee team

Roster: Led by Head Coach Erica Garon. Assisted by Allyson McCormick, Vicki Bergeron, Elizabeth Maroun and Brooke Garon, with Junior Coaches Kayli Winegar and Brooke Carter. Team members: Sylvi Bergeron, Evelyn Callahan, Mackenzie Cavanaugh, Janelle Charlotin, Hailey Cruz, Leah Flynn, Liana Kehoe, Kayla Marcelin, Valentina Maroun, Shea McCormick, Natalia Montalvo, Aaria Oviedo, Sophia Packer, Caitlyn Reilly, Erianny Santiago, Adriana Simard, Camilla Souza and Carmen Williams.

The PeeWee team had an incredible season! This group of girls are extremely special as they have been together as a group since the Tiny Mites when they were 5-6 years old and have grown together over the years. Their chemistry shows both on and off the mat with their talent and togetherness in their routine as well as their comradery off the mat. At the Regional level, this team beat out 5 other teams, finishing in 2nd place, which qualified them for the National Championships! They hit an amazing routine on the National stage and “hit zero” which means they had no deductions – a perfect routine! In a division of 9 teams from across the country, the PeeWee team ended their successful season with a strong 5th place finish! The program is incredibly proud of their achievements!!