By Barbara Taormina
The Malden Cyclones Junior Varsity (B Squad) gave the city an early Christmas present this year.
Earlier this month, the squad traveled to Florida to compete in the Pop Warner National Cheerleading Championships. They came back with a huge trophy, a big banner and the bragging rights that belong to athletes who bring home a national title.
Malden’s Pop Warner family was thrilled with their victory, and this week the city had a chance to honor the squad. Before they left for Florida, one of the Cyclones’ biggest fans, Mayor Gary Christenson, promised the cheerleaders the key to the city and a parade if they came back with a championship title. And on Tuesday night, Christenson made good on his promise. The Cyclones were invited to Christenson’s office, where they were awarded their key to the city on a plaque that reads “Thank you for making our city proud.”
The squad then had a parade up Pleasant Street with a flashing blue police escort to the door of the senior center, so they could meet with the City Council.
Ward 8 Councillor Jadeane Sica introduced the cheerleaders as the Malden Cyclones national champions. “Two weeks ago, the Malden Cyclones Junior Varsity level 3 small [squad] had the opportunity to go to Disney World to compete in the national championships for the Pop Warner,” Sica told the City Council and the audience at the senior center. “They came in first out of 14 [squads].”
Sica then presented the Cyclones a citation from the City Council which congratulated the squad and recognized the members for coming in first place and being crowned champs at the Pop Warner National Cheer & Dance Championships. The Cyclones then did a cheer for the City Council.
“That was tremendous, you should be so proud of yourselves,” City Council President Debbie DeMaria told the Cyclones. DeMaria said that years ago, she was a Pop Warner cheerleading coach of a squad that had also brought home a first-place title. “But this is the first since 1996, so great job,” she said.