Local cheerleaders compete in AYFL Cheer Competition

Posted on 17 January 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

For first-year Deerfield Beach Bisons cheerleader Dajae Nash, competing in the American Youth Football League annual cheerleading competition at the Watsco Center at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, was an enjoyable experience.

She was a member of the Junior Prep (Ages 11-Under) Small Division and one of 60 routines that performed in the large competition in front of an estimated crowd of more than 2,000 people.

“It’s fun,” said Nash, 10, who lives in Pompano and is a fourth-grader at Tedder Elementary School. “There is a lot of stuff you have to learn. The music that we have is really good. This is a really big competition, so you get nervous. I wasn’t nervous though. I just believe in God.”

“Cheerleading is hard,” Nash added. “It takes a lot of time to learn the routines and get them right. The first time you are never going to get them right. It is going to take time for the kids to learn to get them right.”

Bisons teammate Amiyah Ashley, who like Nash is a flier, wasn’t in awe of the more than 2,000 in attendance at the competition.

“I like the cheers, the songs and competing,” said Ashley, 10, of Deerfield Beach, who is a fifth-grader at Deerfield Park Elementary School. “I get nervous (sometimes). I think about what I have to do.”

Deerfield Bisons cheerleading coach Kenya McDowell brought nine girls with her for the 11-Under competition, which received a participation award in the Junior Prep category.

“This is very cool,” McDowell said. “For three of them, it is their first experience and the other ones performed here before. It’s exciting.”

The Deerfield Bisons placed second in the Youth Prep (Ages 9-Under) Medium Division and third in the Pee Wees (Ages 8-Under) Small Division.

Pompano Eagles Senior (13-Under) Division cheerleader Gianna Mercado has been competing for the past four years in the sport.

“I like that it is very active, and it is something to do,” said Mercado, 12, of Pompano, is a seventh-grader at Somerset Key Academy. “The competition is the best part. You get very nervous, but you just push through it and just do it.”

The Eagles had a slight mishap midway through the routine, but they persevered. The Eagles took second in the Senior (Ages 13-Under) Medium Division.

“You just have confidence in yourself and know that you can do it the next time,” she said. “It was amazing. It was worth it. We put a lot of effort into it.”

Mercado said she hopes to cheer in college and said the setting at the UM campus validated it.

“For sure,” she said. “I have good experience and I have the ability. I believe I can do it in college. It would be awesome.”

Michele Longerbeam, who presides over the American Youth Football League cheerleading program, said there were more than 800 participants in the competition at the University of Miami.

“We have mini competitions throughout the season to get ready for the big one and this is the Super Bowl for cheerleaders,” said Longerbeam, who noted all 13 programs in the AYFL competed and there were a total of 60 routines that were evaluated by a panel of judges.

Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association results

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association closed out the year with several competitions.

On Dec. 19, they held an individual play tournament with awards for Low Gross and Low Net in Classes. In the Class A Division, Roy Wilhoite shot an 82 to win the Low Gross honors. Tom Pawelczyk shot a 67 to win the Low Net honors, while Bill O’Brien shot a 71 to take second, after a match of cards.

Oscar Aleman carded an 85 to win the Low Gross for the Class B Division. In the Low Net Division, Jerry Goodman and Bob Schurr each shot 67s.however, Goodman won on a match of cards to win.

In the Class C Division, Jim Dunn won the Low Gross title with a 93. Jim Foster won the Low Net Division with a 74 and won on a match of cards. Robert Raser was second with a 74.

Bob Mascatello carded a 93 to win the Class D Low Gross title. In the Low Net competition, Brian Nixon recorded a 67 to take first place, while Joel Englander was two shots back in second with a 69.

Roy Wilhoite won the closest to the pin on the third hole when his tee shot stuck at 4-feet, 2-inches.

In the Scramble alternate shot on Dec. 12, the team of John Arrigo, Patrick McClain and Pete Strychowskyj shot a 65 to take first place, while Robert Blau, Frank Cutrone, and Mike Marruquin, and Roe Messner shot a 69 and won on a match of scorecards. The team of Jim Dunn, Tim O’Brien, Bob VanZandt and Neil Wilson were second.

There were two winners of the closest to the pin: (Hole No. 7): Jim Greeley and (Hole No. 15): Gary Gill. The winner of the longest putt on the 18th hole was Roy Wilhoite and Dennis Sejda was the closest to the line on the 9th hole.

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