Monte Vista mini youth cheerleaders show true Spirit for Monte Vista

Courtesy photo The Monte Vista Mini Youth Cheerleading Squad performed during a recent Monte Vista City Council meeting. MV City Manager Gigi Dennis is pictured with the squad.

MONTE VISTA — The Monte Vista Mini Youth Cheerleading Squad performed during the Monte Vista City Council meeting on Thursday, March 16, at City Hall. The girls performed four cheers and a dance routine, complete with mini pompoms and mini green and gold cheerleading outfits.

Co-founder and coach Jessica Ornelas is extremely proud of the youth squad. Her daughter is one of the cheerleaders.

“I am extremely proud of these kids and the effort that they have put into this squad,” Ornelas said. “It has taken us a lot to put this squad together, but it has been so worth it. Our vision for the squad is to see them cheering alongside the bigger cheerleaders for Monte, that’s what we are really hoping for. We are looking to expand our squad in May to ages 5 through 10. We are pretty excited about that, and where the squad will go.”

Ornelas and Carissa Rivera started the squad about a year ago. Rivera works with Ornelas and approached her with the idea. Rivera remembered that when she was in middle school Ornelas was a cheerleading coach.

“She came up to me with the idea, and we both have daughters that are 6 years old, and they both wanted to be cheerleaders. This just seemed like a great idea,” Ornelas said. “So, we asked if we could start a cheerleading squad. We started out with five little girls. We started out at the high school. We didn’t have a place to practice so we practiced on the lawn. We were even getting wet by sprinklers. We were running all over, but we had fun. I am the one that teaches the girls the jumps, the kicks, the cheers, all that stuff.”

Ornelas explained that they started practice in May and practiced through June and July. Ornelas said they had a float in last year’s Stampede Parade.

“It was all of us moms, and some of the dads showed up too,” Ornelas said. “We had an assembly line going making a pirate ship for the parade. We were at my grandma’s house in the garage making this. We also made T-shirts for the girls, we ordered the warmups ourselves and put a lot of money in this as parents. We cut everything out with our Cricut machines. We did all the lettering on their outfits. They really didn’t get to cheer all year, but they finally got to cheer when Dervin (Taylor, who is director of MV Recreation) came in for basketball.”

Ornelas explained how Monte Vista Recreation Director Dervin Taylor stepped in and allowed the girls to cheer for basketball.

“We started cheering for basketball, after that we got five more members including one boy,” Ornelas said. “He is our pirate mascot, complete with the pirate patch and mask. With Dervin’s help, we were also able to order five new uniforms for the new members. We did a fundraiser in November with Krispy Crème. We raised over $3,000, and we were able to keep half, so we got the new uniforms, and we were able to buy cheerleading shoes. Our hope is to also get mats with the extra funds that we have left, because I want to teach the kids some tumbling and some stunting, but with mats, so that this is safe.”

Ornelas said that Taylor followed through on his promise and bought the kids their cheerleading bags, to put their shoes and pom poms in.

Ornelas said the squad also has two kids that attend school in other districts that are cheerleaders.

“We have an Alamosa student and a Center student,” she said. “They come to cheer with us every week. All the kids put a lot of hard work into this. The squad most recently got to cheer with the high school cheerleaders during a peewee wrestling tournament. They really love to cheer. They call each other best friends. I am hoping to see them incorporated with the older girls at the games. Carissa does a lot of coordinating for the girls. Our hope is that we get to eventually cheer year-round with the older girls. We would also love to cheer at the middle school, where they don’thave cheerleaders. The parents are awesome, they back us up with everything.”

Ornelas said the next event for the squad is going to be the Cinco de Mayo Street Festival where they will have a booth for fundraising, and they have also been asked to perform there.

“We will be at Cinco and also at the (Stampede) parade again. We will also be doing another Krispy Crème fundraiser,” Ornelas said. “We are happily accepting donations from anyone who would like to donate, too. I am extremely proud of the squad, and I love being their coach. I can’t wait to see them grow.”

For more information on the squad or to make a donation, email Ornelas at [email protected].

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