A regional coed cheerleading team will compete on ESPN’s big stage in the spring at Walt Disney World, near Orlando, Florida.
The team features Seymour’s Jenna Hall, Caedyn Abner, Madison Carpenter and Jackson Carpenter. Assistant coach Lindsey Wetzel also is from Seymour.
The televised event, known as The Summit, is a national cheerleading competition that selects the best teams in the country to compete, said Brittany Carpenter, head cheer coach for the Xtreme Explosion Senior Coed Level 3 Team from Columbus.
Xtreme Explosion, which trains out of Columbus’ Dance by Design, won a competition in Ohio to be considered for The Summit, said Carrie Roberts, who has a daughter on the team.
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The squad made the national competition by being among the highest scorers from all divisions, in which the top three are selected for consideration for Summit, Carpenter said.
Then, two of the teams are drawn at random for The Summit bid, she said.
Coral Roberts, 12, said the entire team knows that competing on the ESPN stage at Disney World is a big honor.
A “flyer” for the squad, she’s looking forward to meeting the other cheerleading teams. A “flyer” on a cheerleading squad is a competitor who performs aerial stunts and is lifted into the air. Coral Roberts said she hopes to one day be a cheerleader for Indiana University.
The competition is May 1 to 3 at Disney World, and team members are beginning an extensive fundraising effort to help the team’s families afford the trip.
The group is selling T-shirts and planning a fundraising event, including a benefit dinner the weekend before Valentine’s Day at Mill Race Center in Columbus, Carpenter said. More details about that dinner will be released closer to the event.
Depending on how much money the cheer squad can raise, the cheerleaders may be able to book flights to Orlando, rather than provide their own transportation, Carpenter said.
Team members are already preparing for the competition, ramping up practices to four or five sessions a week and bumping up the difficulty in the squad’s routine, Coral Roberts said.
Xtreme Explosion performs to a mix of rock ’n’ roll and ‘80s style tunes, she said.
“It’s going to take a lot of work,” she said, adding that winning is the goal for the squad.
The Summit All Star Cheerleading Championship was created to provide an opportunity for the best youth, junior and senior cheerleading teams to face off in live competition.
The competition is in Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, May 1-3 and is broadcast on ESPN.
Anyone wishing to help the Xtreme Explosion squad in its fundraising efforts to compete at The Summit in May should email Missy McDonald at email@example.com.
Those interested in buying tickets for the Valentine’s benefit dinner may obtain them from any Xtreme cheerleader, at This Old Guitar in Columbus or at Dance by Design, 1503 Cottage Ave. in Columbus.