Award-winning New Oxford program spreads cheer to Hanover-area
Adams County's lone national title-winning program is spreading its talents to the Hanover-area.
Just a few months removed from their national championship in Florida, coaches from New Oxford's competitive cheerleading team are opening a cheer gym in Oxford Township in hopes of expanding the sport.
Kids who are interested in cheerleading but don't live in the Conewago Valley School District will have the opportunity learn from New Oxford's staff at the new Hanover Elite Cheer program.
"We've been in New Oxford for 12 years now and we want to spread it to the rest of the area," cheer coach Chris Topper said. "We've had a lot of people want to join our program from outside of the school district, so we wanted to provide the opportunity for everyone in the area to have a good foundation of cheerleading."
The Hanover Elite Cheer gym, located at 1754 Carlisle Pike, will have 5,500 square feet of floor space. Topper and his staff have already moved banners, tumbling equipment, and cheer floors into the open space in preparation for the first day of practice, which is slated for June 2.
Topper and his staff will host three open houses — May 26, 28 and 30 — leading up to the first practice.
"We're going to start with some clinics and lessons to give kids a sneak peek at what we're going to be doing," said Bryce Culp, former New Oxford cheerleader, who will be on Topper's Hanover Elite Cheer staff. "The kids will get a feel for it and we'll help them build their skills in case they want to come out for our teams."
Hanover Elite Cheer will hold placement evaluations for interested students in kindergarten through high school in August, Topper said.
Topper and his staff started a social media blitz on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which has already helped garner significant interest, he said.
"Emails and phone calls have already been coming in from all over the area," Topper said. "When we opened it up on social media last week, it got a lot of attention. It's going to be a good foundation program with some good kids getting it started."
The success of New Oxford's program has helped cheerleading gain exposure locally, Culp said.
"I think being known around Pennsylvania as a successful program with a national title will drive interest," he said. "These kids may say, 'Oh, I can't go to New Oxford because I don't live there, but I can go be a part of this team coached by the people who made them successful.'"
Growing interest in the sport among young kids will be the goal for Culp and Hanover Elite Cheer. Culp credits Topper with opening his eyes to the sport and now Culp wants to help do that for others, he added.
"I came in with a closed mind about it, but he really helped and I want to be able to do that for others," Culp said. "We have one of the best coaching staffs in the country and we want to share that love of cheerleading."
If you go
What: The Hanover Elite Cheer gym open house
When: May 26 and 28 from 6 to 8 p.m.; May 30 from 10 a.m. to noon
Where: 1754 Carlisle Pike, Oxford Township
Interested in joining Hanover Elite Cheer or signing up for a youth cheer camp held June 22-25? Contact Chris Topper at firstname.lastname@example.org.