Trumbull Pop Warner cheerleaders head to nationals

TRUMBULL — When the 11 girls on this year’s Trumbull Pop Warner Rangers Pee Wee Cheer Team learned that they had been picked to compete at the national competition in Florida next month, many of them burst into tears.

“Happy tears,” Missy Lorant, the team’s head coach, was quick to point out.

The team consists of fifth and sixth graders, some of whom have competing in cheer for four years, and some who just started this year. But qualifying for the Pop Warner National Cheerleading Championship was a first for all of them, even the veterans.

“We were so excited,” said Lorant, whose 11-year-old daughter Lucia is also on the team. “Our goal this year was to get to Massachusetts.”

The New England Regional Competition, which took place Nov. 6, is held in Lowell, Mass.

Lorant said the girls had never made it that far before, either, so when they made it to that competition — after coming in second place at the Southern Connecticut Regionals — it felt like a huge win. Lorant said the day the team competed at Southern Connecticut Regionals, they were down two girls, and were concerned about how they would do.

“We modified everything we did and just did the best they could,” Lorant said.

That was enough, as they qualified for the New England Regional competition, which enabled them to go on and qualify for nationals. The national competition takes place Dec. 6 in Orlando, Fla.

Lorant said travel costs for the competition are roughly $1,000 per girl. She said the team is trying to offset the costs of travel with a variety of fundraisers, and a Go Fund Me page, which as of Monday afternoon, had raised $3,190 of a $8,250 goal. To donate, visit gofund.me/40a170dc