In order to participate in Cheerleading, a child must maintain a good grade average in school. Participation in the American Youth Football (AYF) Program provides kids an opportunity to perform in an organized, supervised, safety-oriented environment. AYF programs emphasize fun for all and encourage the development of qualities important long after AYF days are gone. Our girls learn team work, meet many new friends from the community, and are known for their great performances on the field and on the mats at competition and exhibition!
As with any team sport, the commitment is fairly rigorous. For our cheer program, this commitment spans from August through October, and sometimes November if our football squads make it to the playoffs. And sometimes…our competition squads (A,B, and C currently) can even go through December if they win regional semi-finals and finals!
Cheer squad placement is dependent on both the ages and the number of children that enroll in our program, but the following can give you some guidelines: Cheerleaders are placed according to the age group and size of squads.
Maximum of 35 girls per squad. A child’s age on July 31 is his/her age for the season. Children will have most success playing in lowest division possible.
RULES AND REGULATIONS:
Players/Parents should expect to commit a great deal of time cheerleading.
As an AYF program, you will also find a set of guidelines that must be followed at all times. These include mandatory paperwork, practice hours, team/squad placement, conditioning, and even uniform requirements.
The Panthers will hold a parent meeting prior to the start of the season that will provide all of the information you need and give you an opportunity to ask questions about the program. First-time cheer parents and ALL parents of competition-squad aged children should plan to attend this meeting
Attendance rules for practice are strictly enforced. Please remember that cheerleading is a team sport and missing practice affects all of the children and their ability to compete/perform as a team. Please make sure that children get to practice and games on time with the right equipment/uniform.
Competition Squads (A, B, C as of 1/1/11) can expect to maintain a more rigorous practice schedule than D & E squads through October/November dependent on competition results.
Each coach will set up their own practice schedule for their squad and will notify you of this during the month of July. On average, there are 4 practices per week starting the last week of July/first week of August and practices are held outside. Times will be determined by head coaches, but will typically be 5:30-7:30 p.m. or 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. In September and October, practices will be held 2-3 times per week (one of which could be a Saturday). Practices during September and October will move indoors and the time and locations will be determined by Coaches late August. Coaches will notify parents prior to September. Coaches will not allow children to leave practice unaccompanied by an adult. Please be respectful of both the start and end times of practice as determined by the head coach.
WHAT TO WEAR & BRING TO PRACTICE:
Cheerleaders are required to wear blue gym shorts, comfortable sneakers, socks, and a t-shirt that will be made available for sale during uniform try-ons prior to the start of practice.
No denim, buttons, zippers please.
Hair should always be up in a high tight ponytail (elastic, no metal).
No jewelry or nail polish may be worn as of the start of practice.
Please send your child with an adequate supply of water and bug repellent.
CHEERLEADING EQUIPMENT – Panthers PROVIDED
- Game Uniforms
- Hair Ribbons
CHEERLEADING EQUIPMENT – WHAT YOU NEED TO PURCHASE BEFORE FIRST PRACTICE:
- Practice Tee Shirt
- Socks (No-Show)
- White Long Sleeve Body Suit
- Warm Up Suit
- Cheerleading Sneakers
Please do not assume that we will use the same sneaker as the previous year, styles change every season. There will be purchasing nights scheduled by-squad in May/June for these items. If you order on the specified dates you will receive a discount that is given to the Franklin Panthers. If you opt to order after these dates, you will be paying full price and run the risk that your child will not have the required apparel in time for the first game. Other items will be available that are optional such as shorts, sweatshirts, bags etc.
There are a total of 9 regular season games – both home and away games. Games are typically held on Sundays beginning the first week in September (note: an occasional Saturday game may occur). Game times vary from week to week. Players typically need to arrive 1 hour prior to the start of the game to begin warm-ups. Home games are typically held at Franklin High School or Beaver Field. Games are held every weekend beginning in September.
All coaches, team-parents, and demonstrators are volunteers. The team demonstrators are high school students who have gone through the Franklin Panthers program and enjoyed it so much they want to give back and help the younger children learn how to cheer. Even if you are unable to volunteer your time as a coach, there are many other ways you can help the Franklin Panthers. If you want to learn, more please email us at cheerleading©franklinPanthers. net.
CHEER COMPETITION AND EXHIBITION
A, B and C teams are competition squads and compete in the Hockomock Cheerleading Competitions.
The girls may compete in three competitions starting in late October. The Hockomock Competition is held in October.
The Regional Cheer Qualifier Competition is in early November and the Region Cheer Championships are in the later part of November. Should a squad place 1st or 2nd at Regional’s, they would move on to compete at Nationals.
Nationals take place the first week in December at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. If a team makes it to Nationals, they go as a complete team.
For our D & E non-competition squads, Franklin has participated in an exhibition for the past several years. This exhibition may be at the Franklin High School Field House or another league location, and will be on a Saturday in September or October.
Uniforms are the property of Franklin Panthers and are not to be worn or used outside of the league sponsored functions (not for Halloween or to school please!). You are responsible for keeping uniforms clean and in good condition. Uniforms can be hand washed or machine washed on gentle/delicate cycle. It is best to hang-dry or lay flat to dry. Never iron uniforms! Uniforms are returned at the end of each season at a time designated by the Cheer Coordinator or Head Coach. Parents are responsible to return the uniforms in the condition in which they received them. Uniforms not returned in good condition will be charged to parents.
The Franklin Panthers rely heavily on parents volunteering their time. Please help out in any way you can! Parents are required to volunteer their time in concession stand during home games. You will not be scheduled to help during your child’s game, rather 2 hours before or after your child’s game (at a minimum of 1 game day). If you want to volunteer more time we can certainly use your help and your can email us here. Remember that Coaches and Board Members are volunteering their time for your kids, we are asking for a little of your time in return. It’s a great way to get to know other people in your community.
Additional Questions: Please click here to email our Cheer Coordinator with additional questions.