ALEJANDRA ALARCON/Coachella Uninc
THERMAL — The Coachella Valley High School (CVHS) cheer team is set to perform at the 2014 Pro Bowl this weekend, but they still need community support to pay for travel to Hawaii, where the National Football League holds its all-star game every year.
“Aside from all our practice, it took all of us coming together as a whole,” Justine Torres, CVHS senior and co-cheer captain. “It took a lot of dedication, hard work and really pushing each other to not give up. That’s what got us here.”
The Pro Bowl will take place Sunday, January 26, at Aloha Stadium.
Coming from an underrepresented community and high school with not many resources, it is essential for students, family, and the community to come together.
“Because of where I come from – even though it’s so isolated, not like other schools such as Palm Springs or La Quinta – this opportunity means a lot to me,” Torres said. “It shows that even though we come from a different type of community, we’re still able to show people we have talent and we’re hard working and really represent our community well.”
Unfortunately, not all CVHS cheerleaders will perform. Twenty cheerleaders were selected based on their financial commitment.
Excited local residents have been helping the team raise funds for the trip, many of whom attended a fundraiser last week at Sol Sports Restaurant in Coachella.
“For the first time in the history of Coachella Valley Arabs, we got the opportunity to send our girls to the Pro Bowl. I don’t think there’s any cheer squad in the Coachella Valley that can say they have been invited to the Pro Bowl,” said Steven Hernandez, Coachella city council member.
Even for the CVHS cheer team find it hard to believe that a school from an underrepresented community was selected to perform at the Pro Bowl.
“It’s very rewarding to know that all our hard work has paid off and that we are not only representing our cheer team, but the entire school and community,” said Chrystabelle Ramirez, a CVHS senior and co-cheer captain.
The cheerleading team worked hard all summer and attended a cheerleading camp at University of California at Irvine where they were selected to perform at the Pro Bowl.
“When the instructors at the cheer camp announced that our cheer squad was given the invitation to perform at the NFL Pro Bowl the entire squad was shocked in a good way! We had no clue that we were going to be awarded this opportunity,” Ramirez said.
Aside from all the excitement from the community, there has also been great pride from students at CVHS.
“My students are always coming up to me telling me how proud and how cool they think it is that our cheerleaders got this opportunity,” said Melissa Cosme, head coach and English teacher at CVHS. “We have so much support from students. They have their little Facebook and Twitter wars, and cheerleaders from other schools will say negative things, and I’ve seen students that are not even in cheer support their school team.”
To contribute to the team’s travel costs, please contact Melissa Cosme at Coachella Valley High School, [email protected] or (760) 399-5183.