Mississippi Gulf Coast Youth Football League holds bowl games, first ever cheer competition

Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 10:23 PM CST
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POPLARVILLE, Miss. (WLOX) - Not even a little rain could slow down the gridiron stars of tomorrow. On Saturday, peewee football players and cheerleaders from each of the six coastal counties met in Poplarville and went to work.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Youth Football league saw nearly 3,000 athletes representing 15 programs participate in this year’s event. It’s year 12 for the annual bowl games. Along with football, there’s a cheer competition this year.

League President Ben Taylor says this addition is long overdue.

“I think the cheerleaders are just as important as the football plaers are,” said Taylor. “Generally, in years past, the cheer season would end pretty much with the last football games. They go to practice as much as the football players do. They practice the same times; they practice the same number of days. There really wasn’t a way to culminate their season. I feel like the cheer competition was a way for them to kind of bring together what they’ve been working on all season and compete for something that’s tangible.”

Cheer coach Hannah Smith agrees with Taylor’s sentiments that these cheerleaders deserve to shine.

“A lot of people are here to see the cheerleaders,” said Smith. “You know, because the cheerleaders are a part of it now; their families are here. I think it would be a good opportunity for them.

Whether it’s scoring a touchdown or nailing a pyramid, these kids have a bright future and are making a name for themselves.

The competition was held between 8U and 10U bowl games.

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