PAL Annual Cheerleading Competition Rocks the House

PAL Annual Cheerleading Competition PAL Annual Cheerleading Competition

By Karen Fleming

Early on the morning of Saturday, December 2, 2017, the Embry-Riddle ICI Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, was filling up rapidly in anticipation of the State of Florida Association of Police Athletic/Activities Leagues' (SFAPAL) annual cheerleading competition.

Bows in hair and glittery eye-shadow were are important parts of the cheerleaders' preparation. One T-shirt read: "Cheer is an attitude with a Bow."

Even before 9 A.M., cheerleaders, their families, coaches and friends had assembled and were getting fired up in the gym. Master of Ceremonies, Avery Randolph, Ormond Beach PAL, kept up a lively banter and commentary, while the gym reverberated with a background of high-volume, pop music. This warm-up created a super-charged atmosphere: On one side of the gym, the cheerleaders stood in the bleachers to chant and clap, while their families and friends on the other side of the gym responded with lots of positive energetic enthusiasm.

Then it was time for the big moment, after months of practice. Every one stood for the national anthem and the competition began.


PAL Annual Cheerleading Competition PAL Annual Cheerleading Competition PAL Annual Cheerleading Competition PAL Annual Cheerleading Competition PAL Annual Cheerleading Competition PAL Annual Cheerleading Competition PAL Annual Cheerleading Competition PAL Annual Cheerleading Competition PAL Annual Cheerleading Competition

The tiniest cheerleaders, the 8 and under groups, went first, coming to the center of the gym to the chants from the cheer moms and dads of "We So Ready!" These little ones have been called "cheerleaders-in-training," but in truth, they knew their routines beautifully and gave outstanding and adorable performances. The agility of youth served them well.

Squads in the 8 and under category represented Lakeland, St. Johns County, and Jacksonville Police Athletic Leagues. A costumed Jacksonville Jaguar leaped into the arena with the Jacksonville squad and the big cat handed out encouraging high-fives and hugs to the tiny cheerleaders.

Manatee County PAL was the first up in the 10 and under category, cheering with pom-poms shaking, smiles flashing and eyes shining. Jacksonville PAL had impressive moves, showing their colors and high spirits. St. Johns County PAL Stars stirred up enthusiasm with their cheer of "Go! Fight! Win!"

St. Johns County PAL was the sole squad competing in the 12 and under age group. Seventeen girls gave it their all: "Green, Silver White! Fight, Stars, Fight!" The 15 and under age category was comprised of Manatee County PAL (We are Proud of You!) and St. Johns County PAL (Hey, Hey, what do you say? Let's Go Stars!).

This year, for the first time, a Mascot competition was scheduled in the event. St. John's County's mascot, a young man sporting Bermuda shorts and giant glasses, went head over heels for the cheerleaders.

Lakeland PAL's duck mascot, proved that ducks can dance exceptionally well, even with an enormous duck head as part of the costume. The Jacksonville PAL jaguar showed that he, too, could dance as well as roar. St. Petersburg's mascot was a baby sister of one of the cheerleaders. Baby sister was thrilled to receive a ribbon and a medal. The judges ruled the St. Johns County mascot the overall mascot champ. Big applause for all!


The littlest athletes, the 8 and under, were first up in this segment of the competition. The squads were from Lakeland PAL, Hallandale Beach PAL, St. Petersburg PAL and Ft. Pierce PAL. Surprise! Even these little ones can do splits and cartwheels!

In the 10 and under category, the squad from Lakeland PAL swept through with electrifying energy, like a hurricane, living up to their team's name. Another impressive storm swept through next, the Melbourne PAL squad, whose team is also the Hurricanes. The third squad in this category, the Ft. Pierce Eagles, swooped in with awesome moves.

Five squads competed in the 12 and under age category: Marietta, Georgia PAL, City of Miami PAL, Lakeland PAL, Hallandale Beach PAL, and St. Petersburg PAL. Marietta opened their electrifying performance with a little stomping action. The City of Miami's showmanship included spectacular lines of serial cartwheels. Hallandale Beach cheers were accompanied with enthusiastic smiles and big bows. For St. Petersburg: Wow, says it all!

In the 15 and under category, Jacksonville PAL, Lakeland PAL, City of Miami PAL, and Ft. Pierce PAL all were fantastic, making it a hard job for the judges. At this point in the competition, the judges began conferring with each other, reviewing their notes. All the squads converged on the gym floor in one big dance party. Seen on T-shirts: If there's music, girls gotta dance! Let's get fired up! The cartwheels gotta come! And, Loud and Proud!

Time for Trophies

Mr. L.B. Scott, SFAPAL executive director, came forward to present trophies with Leslee Brimer, SFAPAL president of the board of directors, and Chris Robinson, chief SFAPAL volunteer. Mr. Scott thanked Austin Steele for filming the event and Avery Randolph for serving as Master of Ceremonies.

SFAPAL is grateful to many who helped make this event possible: All our PAL chapters, cheerleaders, coaches, mascots, parents, supporters, volunteers, the Judges, Ms. Robin Conyers, Mr. J.B. Caldwell, Ms. Vonda Winn, Mrs. Leslee Brimer, Ms. Belinda Legut, Ms. Jerae Parrish, Mr. Bob Frazier, Chief Jason Shaw, Ormond Beach PALYDC, Mr. and Mrs. Mark Moody, Mr. Chris Robinson, Mr. Avery Randolph, Mr. Curtis Kline, and Embry-Riddle University.

Our Champs:



The Spirit Cup winner was St. Johns County PAL. Congratulations!

"All of our young people are winners and we're family," Mr. Scott said. "There is a place for everyone in PAL. The point is to have our young people be around responsible, caring leaders who will guide them to remember good life skills. That's what it's all about.

"All these kids are our kids," Mr. Scott continued. "We will do our best to ensure that they have a good life. All you ladies are special. Clap and cheer for your coaches. Thank you, Rhonda (Scott) for handling the paperwork and organization of this event. Many thanks!"

Mr. Scott wished everyone a safe trip home!