Rome cheerleaders heading to nationals

ROME, N.Y. -- Hours of hard work and dedication are now taking a group of 27 young cheerleaders from a gym in Rome all the way to nationals, in a place you may have heard of.

"We're going to Disney! So exciting," said head coach Nichole Winters.

On Nov. 4 the Rome Colts Pop Warner Peewee Cheer Squad qualified for the national championships. Winters has been coaching for six years and says it was a surreal feeling when she realized what the squad had accomplished.

"It's always every coaches dream to make it to nationals, and when it finally happened it was like wow, it really happened," she said. "We're going to nationals; it's very exciting."

And because of the squad's age limits, for some girls this was their last chance to qualify.

"I think it's good for us because it's our last year and we finally made it to nationals," said cheerleader Kelseigh Vaughn.

It's also Karabrie Wiggins' last year cheering as well, and said it will be exciting to compete on a national level.

"I think it's a really cool experience for all of us to go together as a team, because some of us have been cheering together for a long time and it's a good closure for me," she said.

The squad has just a few weeks before the competition begins on Dec. 3, and until then they'll be dedicating their time to two things - practice and fundraising.

"We're trying to fundraise to help get these 27 girls to Disney," Winters said. "It's an expensive trip; we have to stay there for three days. The girls get to experience Disney and some of these girls will never be able to experience Disney, so this is a great opportunity to get these girls down there."

The team has set up a GoFundMe page, where people can donate to help alleviate the cost of the trip, which Winters said is about $800 per girl. 

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