Auburn Ravens Youth Footfall Cheer Team, a recreational nonprofit with 22 girls on the squad, took home first place at the Aloha Spirit Championship in Portland, Oregon a few weeks ago. Scoring a 92.7 out of 100 in the Junior Rec Traditional Level 3, the Ravens are First Place Champions in 3 out of 3 competitions this year.
The cheer team is made of girls as young as fourth grade to as old as eight grade. With the competition in cheer high, the team practices four to fives days a week. This sport is physical, technical, and detailed. As volunteer coach Wendy Thomas shares, “some of them lift girls over their head the same size as them.”
The squad’s skills and high-scoring energetic performances have now gained them national attention. The Auburn Ravens Cheer squad recieved an invitation to The Quest Recreational Championships in Orlando, Florida. For cheer squads, “the Quest is like the Rec Nationals [or] the Superbowl of cheer, that you can only go by invite only,” explained Thomas. The competition is the Weekend of March 14-15th.
But the Auburn Ravens Cheer squad didn’t just receive an invitation to the Quest Competition. They were the only team at the Aloha Competition to receive a paid bid to the competition. “We earned this trip by our high score, and we were the only team at that competition to earn the paid bid. Other teams just got an invite, but nothing paid. I feel like we can’t let this go to waste, because the girls worked so hard to earn it. We are first place champions on 3/3 of cheer competitions this season,” said Thomas.
The Quest competition provides packages for the competition. These packages include four nights at the hotel, a three day Disney park hopper, and transportation from the hotel to the ESPN Wide World of Sports (where the competition is held). This package costs $679.00. Receiving a paid bid, each girl on the team has this paid for. “However,” Thomas explained, “that is based on four people to a room. So it’ll be a mother daughter pairing up with another mother daughter. The mothers will need to pay the $679 for themselves.”
In addition to the package from The Quest competition, the team is responsible for all airfare, meals and additional transportation. Thomas, who has a daughter on the squad, figured the average cost for each member to attend the competition. “To break it down, for myself and my daughter to go, it’s costing me [$1,979,] and that is not including spending money!”
Some families are able to fund the Last minute trip without issue. But not all members of the team are in a position to pay for a trip to the competition. “Money is the biggest factor, if some can go and if some can’t,” said Thomas. “If all girls can’t go, then it’s not the same team that won to get here. I either go with a smaller team and have to change the routine. But, we have such an amazing first-place squad that I want them to be the ones to get that National Title!”
If you would like to help support the Auburn Ravens Youth Football Cheer squad in their bid to attend the Quest competition as an individual or through business sponsorship, please email [email protected] Anything will help to get this team to Orlando. And before we know it, we’ll be welcoming home national champions!