Poplarville celebrates local cheerleaders for placing in Top 20 of international competition

Published 8:47 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2023

By Ja’Colbi Rivers WLOX

POPLARVILLE, Miss. (WLOX) – “When you follow your dream, you’re doing something you love,” said Mayor Louise Smith.

Words of praise from city officials ring out in Poplarville on Monday as the town celebrates a team of local cheerleaders placing Top 20 at the All-Star World Championship in Orlando, Fla.

The team competed against more than 200 groups to get into the competition, then competed against more than 78 teams across the world to secure their winning slot.

Coaches Richard Patton Jr. and Mary Beth say they were at a loss for words.

“It feels amazing to watch these girls put in the work and dedication to get this far and to go against so many great teams and come out as the top ones at the end of the day,” said Coach Patton Jr.

Both coaches say there were tough times during their practices leading up to the competition, but they overcame the challenges.

“We had some crazy practices then we had some really good practices leading up to the All-Star Worlds that really showed us this was the team that could do it and bring us here and take us this far,” said coach Patton J.R. “They’ve all been together for a while and worked really well together. Everybody was really cohesive, and the parents worked great together,” said coach Beth.

Coach Patton and Coach Beth say they are happy to see the town celebrate the hard work their team put in to make the achievement possible.

“In youth sports, it’s hard to get everybody on board in most cases,” said coach Beth. “We just have a really great group that has been with us every step of the way, some have been multiple years with us.”

“I tell them that it will be all worth it in the end because at the end of the day its all for them.” said coach Patton Jr. “So in order for them to be happy, they have to put in the work and do what they need to do to be happy and proud of themselves.”

The coaches say they are having tryouts right now for next season. If you would like to join, you can do so on their website.