2014 Florida PAL Cheerleading Competition

By Karen Fleming

How does it feel to be in a gymnasium with four hundred dancing, prancing, and chanting cheerleaders going all out to pep things up? If you were present at the Florida PAL 2014 Annual Cheerleading Competition on December 6, 2014, you know. You know how it felt to bounce along with the dances, marvel at the stunts, and be uplifted by the energy and vibrancy reverberating through the gym.

The incomparable Mr. Avery Randolph, of Ormond Beach PAL, with his roving microphone, served as master of ceremonies for the fourth year at the competition. His enthusiasm, combined with the upbeat, high-velocity music--both filling every corner of the gym--pumped up the electrified atmosphere.

"These young ladies have come today to show what they've been working on all year long," Mr. Randolph called out. "It's about the kids," he said. "That's what PAL is all about."

The four hundred PAL cheerleaders were divided into twenty-one squads, representing Police Athletic League (PAL) chapters from all over Florida, and one PAL chapter from Marietta, Georgia. The competition was held at the Embry-Riddle ICI Center in Daytona Beach, Florida.

"Make some noise!" Mr. Randolph encouraged the spectators. The interaction between the cheerleaders and the spectators/fans is an integral part of cheering. The cheerleaders wanted to generate enthusiasm and get the fans involved. The fans at the competition responded whole heartedly with their own chanting and clapping, blowing air horns, and waving banners. "We are proud of you," the spectators yelled, "We so proud of you!"

The walls began to shake in earnest as a succession of the different squads came forward with their presentations, all executed to music of their own choosing. Bows, glitter, pom-poms and smiling faces ruled as the girls constructed towers, cartwheeled, flipped, and somersaulted. Despite bodies sailing past each other in tightly choreographed routines, everyone landed on their feet and no one collided. It was a beautiful sight.

In between presentations, Mr. Randolph read shout-outs over the microphone. The shout-outs could be purchased for one dollar and were submitted by different supporters in the audience. "You girls rock the house," one shout-out declared. Mr. Randolph joked that he would read a speech for twenty dollars!

As he came forward to announce the winning teams, Mr. L.B. Scott, executive director of Florida PAL (formally known as the State of Florida Association of Police Athletic/Activities Leagues--SFAPAL), told the young ladies they were all winners. "PAL is a law enforcement-based, crime prevention program," he said. "It's about saving lives and encouraging kids to do positive things."

Ms. Leslee Brimer, SFAPAL board of directors' president, and members of the SFAPAL staff came forward to help present trophies and medals to the following winning teams, selected by a panel of judges.

Congratulations Young Ladies!

Cheer/ Dance Presentations:

Cheer/Dance/Stunt Presentations:

The 2014 Spirit Cup was awarded to St. Johns County PAL. The much-coveted Spirit Cup, awarded for the first time at the 2007 SFAPAL Cheerleading Competition, is presented to the PAL team that generates the most enthusiastic response from their supporters.

Special thanks to SFAPAL staff, in particular Rhonda Scott, SFAPAL program coordinator, cheerleaders, coaches, parents, supporters, our judges and volunteers who contributed to making this event successful. Cheerleading is about pepping things up, raising spirits, and generating excitement. Our young ladies did that very well!

2014 Florida PAL Cheerleading Competition