Pecos High School Cheerleaders Need Help Getting to Nationals

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

PECOS - The Pecos High School cheerleaders made school history.

The squad advanced to the national competition in Florida next year but they've run into a roadblock. They don't have the cash to get there.

It's the chance of a lifetime for the Pecos High School Varsity Cheerleaders.

For the first time in school history, the squad competed in the UCA cheer competition and their hard work paid off.

"It's a big deal that they advanced to nationals the very first time that they participated in a competition," cheer mom, Robin Hernandez, said.

The national competition is in February at Disneyworld in Florida.

The team couldn't be more excited until they found out the school district said no to funding any part of the trip.

The cost to get to nationals? $20,000.

Parents said the school also isn't allowing the team to compete under their name so for competition purposes, the team will be called PecosSquad Legacy Elite.

"It was real hard to know our school wasn't behind us," cheer captain, Brittney Alligood, said. "No other sport would've been asked to give it up like we were expected to."

"It kinda bummed me out," cheerleader, Joni Rodriguez, said.

Now the cheerleaders have to come up with the money by January 9th.

They're selling raffle tickets, holding bake sales and doing other fund raisers.

But with only $7,000 raised so far, they still have a long way to go.

"We just were hoping for a little more school support but we've picked up the pieces and moved on," Hernandez said.

"We aren't giving it up and we are gonna push through and do what it takes to get there," Alligood said.

NewsWest 9 spoke to school officials who said the national competition isn't a UIL event.

They released a statement saying, "Our girls worked extremely hard fundraising and preparing for this trip this semester. The PHS cheerleaders have done an outstanding job representing our school this year and we could not be more proud of them."

The isn't the only obstacle the team has dealt with.

Members have cheered through injuries and then the team's sponsor recently changed.

"It was hard because she was like a second mom to us," Alligood said.

But these girls and boys aren't giving up. They're pushing through and keeping their eye on the prize.

"I think there's a bigger lesson in them having to earn it than it being given to them at this point," Hernandez said.

"To actually be the first Pecos squad to go is a really great opportunity and to say we actually did go to Florida and compete and we did it on our own, that's something I'll always remember," Rodriguez said.

The cheerleaders will be having a bake sale on Saturday at the Pecos Wal-Mart.

If you'd like to help the squad get to nationals and donate money, you can contact Robin Hernandez at 432-448-7628.