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Local cheer squad wins national bid, needs to raise funds for trip

By: Genevieve Curtis

EL PASO, Texas -- The Irvin High School cheer squad clinched a bid to nationals and are trying to become the first squad in school history to go to the competition this weekend. The problem is, they have no money for it.

In hallways where school spirit can sometimes be hard to find, the squad is trying to bring pride back.

People dont usually think of much when they think of Irvin High School, said senior Co-Captain Emilio Yanez.

But one cheer at a time, the squad is trying to change that.

Its amazing to see that these girls take pride in what they do and its so amazing to see that the school and the students recognize the hard work that theyve have been doing, said assistant coach Erica Gomez.

At a competition at Franklin High School on Sunday, the Rockets won major awards, including Showmanship, Cheer Tech Specialty Award and first place in the co-ed division. In all of the excitement the team didnt pick up their score sheets.

It wasnt until Tuesday, when school was back in session, that coaches Crystal Guerrero and Gomez were able to look through the scorecards and found a very unexpected bid to Nationals.

Its a rare opportunity for us at Irvin, in the northeast. Its a low-income school, and we definitely need the support of El Paso, said Gomez. Its like a dream come true, said Daniella Puentes, Junior Co-Captain.

The team earned a chance to be the first squad in school history to go to nationals in Dallas this weekend. Weve busted our butts since the summer, said Puentes.

However, the squad, which is led by two former Irvin Rocket cheerleaders, needs to raise between $5,000 and $6,000 by Thursday to represent El Paso in Dallas.

No matter what side of town they live on, what school they went to, they have just as much talent as anyone else and I believe that they believe that. And because of that, this is where we are, said Guerrero.

Im definitely proud of them. When I was a cheerleader here, when I was a student here, we never had that opportunity, said Gomez.

Wednesday, the team practiced and then had a meeting with their parents to plan for the trip, and hope they money comes in.

It's just like a Cinderella story none of us can believe that this is able to happen to an Irvin high school squad, said Yanez.

Guerrero said if the team raises enough money, they will board a bus for Dallas Thursday night at 11 p.m.

We've been making phone calls all day trying to find anyone whose willing to donate, anything matters it all adds up. So whatever anyone can give, will definitely help us make it there, said Guerrero. We are still hoping and dreaming.

If you are interested in helping the team raise funds, you can contact Crystal Guerrero at 915-929-6188.



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