Harker Heights cheer team headed to Orlando, Florida for All-Star World Cheer Competition

Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 9:09 PM CDT
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HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas (KWTX) - More than dozen young cheerleaders in Harker Heights are packing their bags for a trip to Florida. While meeting Mickey Mouse is on the agenda, they are going for a much bigger reason.

The opportunity however, comes with a much bigger price tag than the cost of the trip.

“Hard work, dedication, sweat, tears,” says Head Coach Keshawn Roberts with Rising Stars Elite.

The coaches add that they were given the opportunity for the first time.

“Last year to even be awarded the opportunity to have one team go on a bid and one team to go as a wildcard, we couldn’t ask more for than that. We were satisfied with that,” Roberts says.

But this year, between dance and cheer they have six teams making the trip. The coaches say it is a dream come true.

Some of the athletes have more than the competition on their minds, “I want to hug Mickey Mouse,” says 7-year-old Jalaysia Wilder.

But she added that she does know all of their hard work gotten them to this moment.

And their mom’s see it too.

“You can definitely see where they were to where they are now. Like I get excited every time they get on the stage because I see something in them that comes out every time they compete,” says cheer mom Tivonea Tucker-Johnson.

Tucker-Johnson says she has seen profound benefits since her daughter joined the team, including her confidence.

And the coaches see improvement every time they take the mat.

“We had some kids who were emotional, couldn’t even make it through the first practice. Now, we have kids crying because they don’t want to leave,” says Keshone Roberts, the second head coach and sister to Keshawn.

As the saying goes: You can’t get a diamond, without adding a little bit of pressure.

The trip as you can imagine, is not cheap.

If you would like to help support the girls on their journey, you can donate to their travels here.

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