The Mississippi Gulf Coast Youth Football League holds Bowling, the first cheer competition

POPLARVILLE, MISS. (WLOX) – Not even a little rain can slow down tomorrow’s stars. On Saturday, peewee football players and cheerleaders from each of the six coastal counties met in Poplarville and went to work.

Nearly 3,000 athletes representing 15 programs participated in the Mississippi Gulf Coast Youth Football League this year. It’s been 12 years for the annual bowl games. In addition to football, this year there is also a cheer competition.

League president Ben Taylor says this addition is long overdue.

“I think the cheerleaders are just as important as the football players,” Taylor said. “Generally, in years past, the cheerleading season pretty much ended with the final football games. They go to training as much as football players. They practice at the same time; they practice the same number of days. There really was no way they were going to top their season. I feel like the cheer competition was a way for them to kind of put together what they’ve been working on all season and compete for something that’s tangible.”

Cheer coach Hannah Smith agrees with Taylor that these cheerleaders deserve to shine.

“A lot of people are here to see the cheerleaders,” Smith said. “You know, because the cheerleaders are a part of it now; their families are here. I think it would be a good opportunity for them.

Whether it’s scoring a touchdown or scoring a pyramid, these kids have bright futures and are making a name for themselves.

The competition took place between the 8U and 10U bowl games.

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