The national youth cheerleading competition upcoming in Florida will feature a distinctive New Milford flavor.

Three teams representing the New Milford Bulls' Pop Warner football and cheerleading program have qualified to compete Dec. 7 at at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.

The program's Pee Wee Level 1 and Level 3 teams and the Junior Pee Wee Level 1 team all have earned the trip by capturing respective New England regional honors Nov. 16 at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, Mass.

The cheer and dance championships will feature more than 300 cheer and dance squads competing during a five-day event.

"It has been a phenomenal season for all of the Bulls' family," said Kristina Martinelli, a parent of both a Bulls' cheerleader and football player, "and we look to the community and surrounding teams to support us on this endeavor."

"We know all of the girls have the spirit, determination and amazing sportsmanship to accomplish great things and bring not one, but three national titles home," she added.

The teams are coached by cheer commissioner Mindi Sarko, as well as:

Pee Wee Level 1 -- head coach Nikki Marello, assistant coach Kelly Murphy and demonstrators Megan Radcliff, Ivey Collins and Maurissa Dossantos.

Pee Wee Level 3 -- head coach Ilsa Jiminez, assistant coach Jessica Leonard and demonstrators Neisha Vega, Lauren Sarko and Erika Jiminez.

Junior Pee Wee -- head coach Jennifer Golembeske, assistant coach Katie Lesiak and demonstrators Acacia Bizier, Kenzie Bessette, Nikki Sheehy and Victoria Thalassinos.

"Our fundraising efforts are well underway," said Martinelli," and we will be hosting several events in the area, as well as inviting local businesses of products and services to consider sponsorships to help offset some of the cost incurred for travel and lodging.

The cheerleaders offer several levels of sponsorship and welcome donations, which may be given online at www.gofundme.com/bullscheer or by contacting cheer commissioner Mindi Sarko at msarko@earthlink.net.

Fundraising events:

Nejaime's bake sale (Nov. 26-27 from 5 to 8 p.m.);

Northville Market (Nov. 27 from 4 to 7 p.m.);

Holiday photos at Bulls Field along Boardman Road (Nov. 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.);

"Run, Santa, Run" at Young's Field (Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. to noon);

Gaylordsville Market (Nov. 30, Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.);

Pasta dinner at Holy Trinity in Sherman (Dec. 1 from 4 to 7 p.m.)

Belly dancing for the Bulls with Kathy Henkel Fitness (Dec. 2 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.);

Walmart bake sale (Dec. 2 and 4 from 5 to 8 p.m.).

Norm Cummings

Contributed by Kristina Martinelli, New Milford Bulls

It has been an amazing past two weeks as all three competitive New Milford Bulls' Pop Warner Cheerleading Teams won the honor of advancing to the National Competition, the week of Dec. 7, 2013 at ESPN Wide World of Sports at the Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. The 48 New Milford athletes won for their categories and made history with the first Junior Pee Wee Team advancing to Nationals and awarded 2nd in New England for their level and both Pee Wee teams receiving the New England Champion title for their levels. This will be the first time in over 40 years that the organization will be sending three teams to Nationals to compete.

>

> It has been an unbelievable season for all of the Bulls Family and we look to the community and surrounding teams to support us on this endeavor. We know all of the girls have the spirit, determination and amazing sportsmanship to accomplish great things. In 2012, our Junior Midget team was honored with the National Championship award and the motto "one team, one dream". This year... "#3Teams1Dream" has made its way around social media.

>

> Over the next few weeks we will be hosting several fundraising

> opportunities in the area as well as inviting local businesses of

> products and services to consider sponsorships to help offset some of

> the cost incurred for travel and lodging. We offer several levels of

> sponsorship and welcome all donations. Donations are accepted online

> at www.gofundme.com/bullscheer

>

> Or around town, an initial list of events is as follows:

> 11/18 1st and 10 6-9pm 1%

> 11/18 thru 11/22 Stop & Shop Bake Sale 5:30-7:30pm

> 11/23 Donation Drive NM Green

> 11/12 thru 12/2 Butterbraid/Cookie Dough Sale

> 11/25 Solé 6-9pm

> 11/26, 11/27 Nejaimes Bake Sale

> 11/30 Holiday Photos at Bulls Field

> 12/1 Pasta Dinner at Holy Trinity in Sherman

>

> For additional details, please contact

> kristina.martinelli@earthlink.net

"Pancakes for Pop," a Father's Day benefit pancake breakfast, will be hosted June 16 by the New Milford Bulls' Pop Warner football and cheerleading program.

Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. to noon at the Odd Fellows Hall along Danbury Road (Route 7 South) in New Milford.

Tickets will be $8 per adult and $5 per child.

Registration for the 2013 New Milford Bulls' football and cheerleading program is available at www.newmilfordbulls.com.

Cost is $250 per child for either football or cheerleading.

Youths aged 5-15 from the Greater New Milford area are eligible to participate.

NEW MILFORD BULLS

2013 REGISTRATION

Children age 5- 14 are eligible to join NM Bulls Football and Cheer.

To participate you must be age 5 by July 31, 2013. New Milford Bulls Pop Warner is open to children

in New Milford and the surrounding towns. Please visit our website to learn more about New Milford Bulls

and Pop Warner (www.newmilfordbulls.com). We offer scholarships. Must bring proof at time of registration.

(Proof: School Lunch Asst. Program) Scholarships only include registration costs.

COST: FOOTBALL PLAYER OR CHEERLEADER $250

Football registration includes use of home and away game jerseys required pads and helmet.

Each football player will receive a personalized Bulls practice jersey, practice pants, socks, and a mouthguard.

Cheer registration includes use of vest and skirt. Each cheer player will receive a formal practice uniform,

competition socks, drawstring backpack, and a game bow.

Completed registration forms and payment are required at the time of registration.

Registration forms and information packets will be available at registration. Forms are also available online at

our website: newmilfordbulls.com. Forms may be completed in advance, but must be brought in person to registration.

ALL PARENTS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING MAY SIGN UP AT REGISTRATION. WE ACCEPT ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS!

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Jason Tuz, Football Commissioner, 203.704.1707 or jtuz55@hotmail.com

Mindi Sarko, Cheerleading Commissioner, 860.210.1536 or msarko@earthlink.net

POP WARNER YOUTH FOOTBALL & CHEERLEADING ORGANIZATION

www.newmilfordbulls.com www.popwarner.com

IT HAS NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME

TO BE PART OF OUR ORGANIZATION!!!

CHEERLEADING & FOOTBALL REGISTRATION WILL BE HELD:

Thursday, April 4th at 6:30 pm - 9 pm, John Pettibone Cafeteria

Thursday, April 25th at 6:30 pm - 9 pm, John Pettibone Cafeteria

Sunday, May 5th at 12 pm - 4 pm, Bulls Field

YOU CAN ALSO REGISTER ONLINE AT WWW.NEWMILFORDBULLS.COM

WE HOPE YOU CAN JOIN US FOR ANOTHER GREAT SEASON!

THE NEW MILFORD BULLS IS A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION

The New Milford Bulls' Pop Warner football and cheerleading program will hold a 2013 kickoff party soon.

The event is set Saturday, March 2 from 2 to 6 p.m. at The Maxx along Railroad Street.

Registration discounts and incentives for the 2013 season will be offered at the event.

"Our focus is to build both strong bodies and minds through the team-building skills of youth sports," reads the program's flyer. "We do not discriminate and every child plays regardless of ability,, ages 5-15."

The party will feature food, music, games and prizes.

Players from the Danbury Militia football team will be there to meet the youths.

For more information, visit www.newmilfordbulls.com.

The New Milford Bulls had a great 2012 Pop Warner football and cheer season. The Midget and Junior Pee Wee football teams qualified for the Northern CT Pop Warner playoffs.

Best in the nation... that has a mighty nice ring to it.

That's how the New Milford Bulls' Pop Warner Junior Midget cheerleaders can describe themselves this week.

The 25 New Milford girls made local history Dec. 5 by winning their category of the Pop Warner national cheerleading competition at Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, Fl.

"I am extremely proud of this team," said Mindi Sarko, the Bulls' cheerleading commissioner, "and how hard they worked to achieve their dream. It is very well deserved."

The Junior Midget cheerleaders earned titles along the way at the state and New England regional levels to qualify for the trip to Florida.

During the Dec. 5 competition, the New Milford girls won their category and also achieved the highest score in their session.

"It has been a long time coming for this hard-working team," said Ms. Sarko. who explained the Junior Midgets' motto has been "One Team, One Dream."

Coach Sherri Cognato, in her seventh year working with the Bulls' cheerleaders, explained this group has been, for the most part, rising through the ranks together as cheerleaders.

"As they grew, so did their level of maturity and skill," she said. "They were not only teammates, they were close friends and classmates as well."

"This journey has been amazing," coach Cognato added. "To see these 25 girls achieve their goal is truly a dream come true. We are in a whirlwind. Making New Milford Bulls' history is not only the accomplishment of this team but of this organization as well."

The national champs' head coach made it clear the program's goals were about the girls' growth and development.

"I am hoping that this creates memories that will never be forgotten," she said. "It is a tribute to 25 girls who have proved that their passion, commitment, determination, sportsmanship and teamwork is what it takes to become a national champion."

Lending their cheerleading skills to the Junior Midgets' efforts this fall have been Samara Jenkins, Codi Sealund, Tianna Wells, Olivia Thalassinos, Lauren Lombardo, Megan Lynch, Mia Fyler, Trish Lilley, Micayla Flynn, Hannah Seigel, Leah Cognato, Joanna DeLima, Alisson Haywood, Michaela Ferlow, Shania Ek, Emily McGuire, Taylor Franzese, Emily Spagnolo, Danielle Kwapien, Ivey Collins, Gabriella Main, Brittany Karaz, Megan Radcliff, Briana Podyma and Ivana Perez.

Contributing guidance and instruction were head coach Sherri Cognato, assistant coaches Jessica Seigel and Tom Cognato, demonstrators Lexi Franzese, Meghan Timan, coach trainee Meghan Cognato and commissioner Mindi Sarko.

Head coach Cognato said she and her team were very appreciative of local backing they have received from the coaching staff, the Bulls' board and organization, and the community.

"Our goal was always to make it fun. These young ladies put a lot of blood sweat and tears into their journey," she concluded. "The road was not always an easy one. We over came injuries and illnesses like everyone else but they pulled it together and showed the nation what they were made of."

Photography courtesy of the New Milford Bulls

Thank you to our coaching staff, our Board, our organization, and our community for your amazing support! This win is for New Milford!

SC

Our goal was always to make it FUN! These young ladies put a lot of blood sweat and tears into their journey. The road was not always an easy one. We over came injuries and illnesses like everyone else but they pulled it together and showed the Nation what they were made of.

Thank you to our coaching staff, our Board, our organization, and our community for your amazing support! This win is for New Milford!

I am hoping that this creates memories that will never be forgotten. It is a tribute to 25 girls who have proved that their passion, commitment, determination, sportsmanship and teamwork is what it takes to become a national champion!

I have been coaching with the New Milford Bulls for 7 years. Most of this team has been together for the past 6 years. Some started cheering as mascots and worked their way up as Mitey Mite, Jr. Pee Wee, Pee Wee and now Jr. Midget cheerleaders. As they grew so did their level of maturity and skill. They were not only teammates, they were close friends and classmates as well. Our motto is One Team One Dream and this is an amazing family of cheerleaders, coaches and parents!

MS

Our girls are National Champions--first ever from New Milford making history. I have a championship photo and we really want this in as soon as possible. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed since you made the other article seem as if both cheer squads were going to the same place. Pop Warner cheer is so much bigger and these girls worked five long years to get there.

Please call me at 860-210-1536.In the past I have seen other historic teams make the cover and this really is big news. I have tv news stations contacting me and I would hope our local town paper would give it the attention it deserves. It is a very big deal for this league and this town.

Coachsherri@charter.net

Pictured Bottom Row Left: Samara Jenkins, Codi Sealund, Tianna Wells, Olivia Thalassinos, Lauren Lombardo, Megan Lynch, Mia Fyler, Trish Lilley, Micayla Flynn, Hannah Seigel; Middle Row: Leah Cognato, Joanna DeLima, Alisson Haywood, Michaela Ferlow, Shania Ek, Emily McGuire, Taylor Franzese, Emily Spagnuolo, Danielle Kwapien, Coach Trainee Meghan Cognato; Back Row: Assistant Coach Tom Cognato, Head Coach Sherri Cognato, Cheer Commissioner Mindi Sarko, Ivey Collins, Gabriella Main, Brittany Karaz, Megan Radcliff, Briana Podyma, Ivana Perez, Demonstrator Lexi Franzese. Not pictured: Assistant Coach Jessica Seigel and Demonstrator Meghan Timan.