For just about 17 years, the Kearny Generals Cheerleaders — from here on, KGC — have been participating competitively. In that timeframe, they’ve won a whopping 21 championships, including the latest just a few weeks ago in Las Vegas, after the team took care of two opponents from California and one from Oregon.
Throughout those years, one of the most consistent parts of the team is Jamie Guedes, herself an alum of the program and a former Kearny High School cheerleader from the class of 2001, who has for all these years been coaching the team of girls and boys — yes, there are boys who are exceptionally talented, too — whose athletic ability is often overlooked. These kids can move and do so faster than one could ever imagine.
So it should come as no shocker they keep winning championship after championship.
But it isn’t always easy to do so.
“It’s not cheap, that’s for sure,” Guedes says. “To go to Vegas, we had to do a lot to raise money. We get a ton of help from parents, sponsors, friends, businesses. But we found a way to get there and we did very well, again.”
They also get a lot of help from other program alums who, after they go on to college and the workforce often come back and serve as mentors to the current group of competitors.
Meanwhile, Guedes says there are a of tricks and tips she and her co-coaches (and volunteers)
have taught the kids, which has ultimately led to the nationwide success the team has achieved. At times, when they do go to these national events, it’s not all the same routines as what they’re used to.
“There are some new events, as well,” she says. And yet is seems whatever is thrown at them, this team just finds a way to keep on winning.
But for those who are unfamiliar with how a team from little Kearny in Hudson County can go all over the country, we asked Guedes how a club cheering squad does get to travel the continent to compete.
In this case, the organizers emailed Guedes and invited KGC to travel out.
They spent a recent Thursday to Monday out west, competed on Saturday and Sunday, and came home as champions — they’re the Senior Black Team — yet again.
“It’s really a great accomplishment,” Guedes says. “We are so proud of the team and all they’ve done and we are so happy they’re being recognized for all their hard work.”
The team includes Angelina Alvariza, Yanira Batista, Giovanna Desouza, Sofia Disbrow, Agustina Esnal, Richell Francisco, Izabella Heller, Olivia Klus, Sarahi Ludena, Alexandra Odar, Jean Pereira, Estella Pesantez, Vida Quezada, Adriano Rivera, Brittany Rodriguez, Melanie Rodriguez, Jade Siqueira, Jessica Soryal, Melody Torres, and Mya Torres.
The coaches are Jamie Guedes and Jennifer Esteves with help from KGC alums Amanda Esteves and Emily Disbrow.
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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.