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Cary Pop Warner Football & Cheer

Cary Pop Warner Football & Cheer


Cheer Frequently Asked Questions

When does the season start?

August 1st

Does my child need specific skills?

NO! There are no try-outs and no specific skill requirements. Just bring your willingness to learn, cheer spirit, and work hard!

Can my child cheer at school and with CPW?

How often are practices?

EVERY participant must have 20 hours of conditioning practice prior to participating in games. To ensure this happens we offer 3 weeks of practice 4 nights a week for the first three weeks of the season from 6:15 – 8:30 pm. This is done to allow for the 20 needed hours as we recognize that not everyone will make it every night each week.  After the conditioning period is complete, teams will practice 2-3 nights a week as determined by the coach. The nights of practice are determined by each team’s head coach. Competitive team practices could include weekends.  Jr. Tiny Mites (ages 3 & 4) practice 1 day a week. Jr. tiny mite season starts September 1stt.

Where do you practice?

We practice at Cary Elementary School (unless otherwise indicated). Enter the parking lot on Faculty Ave and park in the lower lot (where the football is).

What are Jr. Tiny Mites?

We are excited about our new Jr. Tiny Mite division. This division is for 3 and 4-year-olds.  They will practice one time a week starting September 1st. The season runs from September 1st to October 16th (after our local exhibition).  The Jr. tiny mites will perform at home games during halftime (TM or MM game). They will perform an exhibition routine at our local competition in October. Practices can be 'mommy and me'.  Bring your 3 and 4-year-olds for some fun. This is a COED division open to girls and boys. The cost for this division includes your child's uniform and is $150. 

What are the age categories?

All teams are based on the child’s age as of July 31st. Team availability depends on coaches and number of participants. There may not be a team in each one of the categories.

Opportunities are provided to participate in 8 age groups:

Non-Competitive Cheer & Dance

·        Jr. Tiny Mite: Ages 3 & 4 

Competitive Cheer & Dance

·       Tiny Mite: Ages 5, 6, & 7
.         Mitey Mite: Ages 7, 8, & 9

·        Jr. Pee Wee: Ages 8, 9, 10, & 11

·        Pee Wee: Ages 9, 10, 11, & 12

·        Jr. Varsity: Ages 10, 11, 12, & 13

·        Varsity: Ages 12, 13, 14, 15, & 16

.        Bantam: Ages 14, 15, 16, & 17

Can I choose which team my child is on?

The Cheer & Dance Commissioner assigns participants to teams based on age, team availability, and the number of participants registered. You may indicate a preference for a specific coach/team on your registration but it is not guaranteed.

What do participants do other than practice?

Each participant “cheers” on the sidelines at Saturday football games beginning on the last Saturday in August through October (may extend if teams move on to championship games). Cheer/dance teams are assigned to their corresponding football team by age and follow that team’s game schedule. Home games are at Cary HS and away games include travel to any Pop Warner field in Wake, Durham, and Johnston counties. NOTE: Jr. Tiny Mites do not cheer at games.

If my child is on a competitive team, when and where are the competitions?

Local competition mostly likely will be held on a Sunday in mid to late October. Developmental cheer teams perform an exhibition routine at locals. Competitive teams compete in their age division, skill level, and team size against other teams within the league. If the team places 1st , 2nd, or 3rd, they advance to the Regional competition held out of town (currently Concord, NC) in November.  If the team places 1st or 2nd, they advance to the National competition in Florida at the beginning of December. Athletes are required to participate in all qualifying competitions.  Please consider the time and financial commitment required to participate on a competitive-level team.

What is the cost if my child’s team advances to Nationals?

Congratulations, National competition is an honor!  All qualifying participants need to travel to Florida and pay for a room package including 3-night minimum stay in the designated hotel including park tickets. Each person on the reservation (anyone can come as long as they book with CPW cheer) costs approximately $600 each for hotel and park passes which also include admission to the Pop Warner private party at the park. Currently, the National competition is held in Orlando in conjunction with Universal Studios. Participants must stay on Universal property.

How do we fundraise?

All participants are encouraged to take part in the CPW cheer program fundraising events to allow competitive-level athletes an opportunity to raise funds to offset travel expenses if they qualify for Regional and National competitions.

What does CPW provide?

Your registration includes a cheer uniform, boy cut brief, game day bow, pink bow, and competition bow which are yours to keep. All cheerleaders will be provided poms for games.  

 What do I have to pay for?

These items are MANDATORY
All cheerleaders will need to purchase their own no-show white socks, black soffe shorts, cheer practice T-shirt, and white cheer shoes. 

Dance team participants will need to purchase “dance” accessories which may include a pair of dance shoes and outfit.

Purchasing information is provided by us so that everyone gets the right items.

****Spirit wear for girls and parents is on sale throughout the season****

Are the coaches paid employees of CPW Cheer?

NO. They are volunteers who donate their time to help our kids. This entire program, in fact, is run by volunteers who put in a great deal of personal time to make this program available to your children.

What are the volunteer requirements?

ALL participants are required to have a designated person from the family sign up for volunteer shifts at practice and game fields. CPW is a 100% volunteer organization. EVERYONE from the coaches to association commissioners to league and region staff are volunteers.

Can I help coach?

  • We are always looking for talent to assist with coaching teams and helping our children develop. Parents interested in coaching may fill out an application at registration. Spirit volunteer positions include (head coaches, assistant coaches, and student demonstrators).  Please contact Anita Harris at [email protected] or call 919-827-1924.
  • Team mom is not an official role for spirit teams, but please contact your cheer commissioner for how you can help in this capacity.

 When and where are the games?

Games are on Saturdays, starting around the last weekend of August. Unless a team has a Bye on its schedule, we play on Labor Day Weekend. All age divisions can expect a game every Saturday from the first day of games through the end of October. Depending upon the schedule, a team may get a "bye" week at some point during the season. Games can start as early as 8:00 AM or late in the afternoon. Away games could be as close as Cary or as far away as South Johnson County, N. Durham, Wake Forest, etc. Parents are responsible for all transportation of their children to and from practices and games.

Is there a charge to get into a game?

Yes. The CFF sets admission prices for all teams in our league. In 2021 admission was $5 for adults and $3 for youth aged 6-17. Children under 5 are free. During the main season, players (and cheerleaders) get in free wearing their Cary Pop Warner game jersey/uniform.  Staff on the roster (coaches, assistant coaches, and the Team Parent) get in free to home and away games WITH THEIR BADGE. Game day volunteers are required to pay admission. Most locations only take cash for admission.


Cary Pop Warner
Bianca Graves 
Cary, North Carolina 27513

Phone: 919-633-4166
Email: [email protected]

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