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Young cheerleaders bound for NFL Pro Bowl

September 04, 2010|By LUCIA TAYO
  • Brittney Malott, left, Destani McCauley and Sierra Pompell, all members of Xtreme Magic Allstarz Divas cheerleading team in Hagerstown, have been selected to go to the Pro Bowl Performance Tour & National Scholarship Invitational in Honolulu.
Submitted photo,

Cheerleaders Destani McCauley, Sierra Pompell and Brittney Malott from the Xtreme Magic Allstarz Divas cheerleading team in Hagerstown are ready to be tossed in the air in Hawaii.

Destani, 11, a sixth-grader at Clear Spring Middle School, Sierra, 12, a seventh-grader at Western Heights Middle School, and Brittney, 17, a senior at Washington County Technical High School, were recently invited to cheer during half-time at the Pro Bowl Performance Tour & National Scholarship Invitational in Honolulu. The invitational is set for Jan. 23 to 31 and is held in conjunction with the NFL Pro Bowl.

Originally, six girls from Washington County were selected to go; however, Brianna Mills, Karissa Butts and Tayai Scott will not be in attendance. The girls were invited by the All-American Cheer & Dance (AACD).

Xtreme Magic Allstarz Divas Head coach Linda McCauley and Destani's mother, said she received a letter from the AACD, with six ribbons enclosed. The letter asked her to have qualifying girls on her squad wear the ribbon on their shoes while performing at the Maryland State Competition, as a way to select girls to perform at the Pro Bowl.

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Destani and Sierra were selected for the ribbons.

"When I first gave them the ribbons, I didn't tell them what it meant because I didn't want them to freak out," Linda said. "Both girls performed twice and got chosen for their different performances."

Destani said when she found out she was chosen to go to Hawaii, she was not only excited, but also amused.

"It was pretty funny, I couldn't believe it," she said. "I was ecstatic."

Sierra recalls jumping around when she heard the news.

"I think they were more excited about Hawaii than the competition," Linda said.

Linda said she started Destani in gymnastics at age 2, but Destani got bored with the activity. They decided to give baton twirling a shot, and when that was a no go as well, Destani picked up cheering. She has been cheering ever since.

Sierra said she has been cheering for five years and enjoys its challenges.

"I like the competitiveness," she said. "And that you win things."

So far both girls have won jackets and trophies at different championships.

Linda said she is very proud of the girls' performance this season and feels they are very deserving of the trip.

"They have actually been the best year. They won division championship in January and the national championship in Ocean City (Md.) last April," she said.

It was a video from that Ocean City performance that gave Brittney her slot. Her grandmother, Barb Malott, said they sent the video in of all the girls performing with a photo of Brittney to help the judges recognize her.

The judges must have liked what they saw because they extended Brittney an invitation to go to Hawaii, too.

Barb said she was notified in early July by e-mail that Brittney was invited.

"I was excited and surprised," Brittney said of being chosen.

Brittney said she's been cheering for seven years and has been with Xtreme for three years.

"I like (cheering) because I get to meet new people," she said.

With all the hopes of cheering in Hawaii, the girls are still trying to calculate ways to raise enough money for the trip.

The trip costs $1,625 per performer for seven nights in Hawaii. The cost also includes several activities for the girls such as an Arizona Memorial (Pearl Harbor) tour, practice and performance wear, tickets and transportation, a Hawaiian luau with football players and more. Plane tickets are not included in the cost, which is pricing at another $1,000, Linda said.

Linda said she will be going along to chaperon the girls, and Sierra's mother and grandmother will also be supporting the girls.

"We made our first deposit, so now we have to raise $2,300, including the flight," Linda aid.

Other opportunities awaiting the girls in Hawaii is the chance to audition to be stage performers at the game, be seen by cheerleading scouts.

All three girls eventually want to become a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

"I want to see the Cowboys," Sierra said.

"And I want their autographs," Destani said.

Brittney said she hopes the Cowboy's quarterback Tony Romo will be at the Pro Bowl.

"He's my favorite," she said.

Currently, the girls are trying their hardest to make money for their trip.

"It's been really hard. We've been doing everything and trying to think out the box," Linda said. "So far we've raised $400."

They're doing anything they can, including teaching tumbling to children in the Westshire Professional Center. To make an appointment, call Linda at 301-988- 8777.

Linda said she's hoping they'll be able to raise the funds.

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," Linda said.

-- Crystal Schelle contributed to this story

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