USA Football

2018 CHEER & POM


Welcome to the 2018 Pirate Cheer/Pom Season!



As VPs of Cheer/Pom, our goal is to provide all participants with a fun, exciting, and enjoyable team environment! We want the children to learn all of the basic skills of cheerleading and pom pon and become as skillful as they can while keeping it fun. We want to provide a positive experience where we teach through positive reinforcement while motivating and challenging all of the participants on the team. Good sportsmanship, athleticism, a sense of family, camaraderie, and pride in one's self and one's team are important qualities that we hope to instill in your children. Your children will experience cheerleading and pom pon in a range of positions as it is intended to rotate each child’s position as much as possible. We also believe that forming friendships, developing a feeling of belonging, and learning to share experiences with others is important.

For the 2018 season:

All children will participate in both cheer and pom. We are basically three sports in one- sideline cheer, competitive cheer, and pom. All teams will sideline cheer at the football games and over the course of the season, learn a competitive cheer routine and a pom routine to perform at games and, ultimately, at the Cheerfest competition in October.

Practices will start the week of August 13. Practices will be based on the age and instruction level of the girls, as described below. Games will begin September 8. Some games will be here at Pinckney High School and some games will be away. Potential away game locations are Howell, Brighton, South Lyon, Hartland, Milford, Lakeland, and Fowlerville. Game schedules will be posted as soon as they are released by the league. 

Practice schedule:

Practices until mid-October are held at Merrill Field, weather permitting. Practices will start the week of August 13. Exact practice days and times will be set by each team's head coach. Practices leading up to Cheerfest will be held indoors at dates, times, and locations to be announced. 

General practice information:

Please bring a water bottle or sports drink. No pop/soda/energy drinks. We will be practicing outdoors in a somewhat wooded area so please make sure your child has bug spray and/or sunscreen. Please make sure your child has eaten a snack or dinner before arriving at practice, they will not be allowed to eat during practice. Please make sure your child uses the bathroom before arriving at practice as there is no guarantee that there will be a port-a-potty available.

Practices before school starts:

Instructional (1st-2nd grade) will practice 3 nights/week no earlier than 6pm and will be allowed to practice up to 2 hours each night for a total of 6 hours each week. 

Freshman (3rd-4th grade) and JV (5th-6th grade) will be allowed to practice 4 nights/week no earlier than 6pm and allowed to practice up to a total of 15 hours each week.

 Practices once school starts:

Instructional will practice 2 nights/week no earlier than 6pm and will be allowed to practice up to 1.5 hours each night for a total of 3 hours each week. 

Freshman and JV will be practice 3 nights/week no earlier than 6pm and allowed to practice up to 2 hours each night for a total of 6 hours each week.

Game days:

Games are held on Saturdays. Times and locations will vary. Once the schedule for the season has been finalized, it will be shared with you. The organization is part of the Livingston County Junior Football League Association. You can find information relating to other teams and their field locations at: Your coach will also touch base with your team regarding game day information each week.


The HPYFA program is volunteer- run program. All of our board members and coaches are volunteers. They are not paid in any way. With our program being run entirely by volunteers, parents are also required to volunteer their time throughout the season. Please see the Registration Policies page for specifics about our volunteering requirements. Each family will be required to give a volunteer duty deposit of $100.00 per child in the form of a check. This check will be due at uniform handout. The check will NOT be cashed if you have fulfilled your volunteer requirement for the season. If you fail to fulfill the volunteer requirement during the season, your check will be cashed. We cannot properly run our games and events without your help. 

Proper attire:

Practice: The girls are expected to wear proper attire for practicing such as shorts or pants and t-shirts, tank tops, and/or sweatshirts to all practices. All girls must wear tennis shoes and have their hair pulled back off of their face and in a ponytail. They may not wear jeans, crocs, sandals, or flip flops. If they wear these items, they will sit and not participate during practice. 

Games: All of the girls are expected to arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of the game in their complete uniform (shell, white bodysuit**, skirt, spanks, white no-show socks, and white game shoes) with their hair up in a ponytail with optional hair bow and a smile on their face.

** At the discretion of the head coach, the following may apply: If the weather is warm at game time, your child may wear a white, black, or red tank top under their shell that must be tucked into their skirt.

ADDITIONALLY, Uniforms must be kept clean and presentable.  Any uniforms damaged due to improper care or not promptly returned at the end of the season will require just compensation and/or repayment of uniform.

 Coaches, respect, and safety:

The HPYFA Coaches are responsible for watching over your child during the practices and games.  We want to make sure that your child is safe while at practice. Please help us out by observing the following rules:

  • Participants cannot be dropped off at the practice fields until the HPYFA Coach is present at the field.
  • Parents must pick up participants from the Cheer/Pom practice areas. We realize that some of the participants may have siblings playing in the football program. However, the coaches cannot release the Cheer/Pom participants to walk over to the football fields unless there is adult supervision. Participants also may not cross the street unattended to the parking lot to get in cars. This is unsafe and we don't want any accidents. Please get out of your vehicle and walk to the field to accompany your child back to your car.
  • Participants may not sit in cars during water breaks. Water bottles must be brought to the field with them when they are dropped off.
  • Please remember that your coach is a volunteer. He/she is not paid by HPYFA. If you have a concern, please approach your coach either before or after practice. Please do not disrupt practice. Game day is also not the appropriate time to bring up any concerns you may have. Coaches are focused on the game and the team on game day. Also, please do not address our high school coaches at practice or during game day. If you have a concern that you would like addressed, please speak with your head coach. Our high school coaches are not getting paid for their time. They are involved as mentors and are given direction from the head coaches and assistant coaches of HPYFA. 

Cheerfest 2018:

Cheerfest this year is being hosted by Howell at Parker Middle School on 10/21/18. Participation is mandatory. It is very important that all Cheer/Pom participants attend all scheduled practices during the month of October or they may jeopardize their ability to perform as a team at Cheerfest. This is a team sport and we cannot move forward as a TEAM if we do not have everyone present at practice. It is mandatory for each team to compete in two rounds. One round is a Pom Routine and the second round is a Stunt Cheer Routine. All teams will complete the MHSAA Precision 10 Count. Each practice, we learn a new segment of our cheer and pom routines. We have very little time to learn our routines for Cheerfest so attendance at all practices throughout the season is very important, especially if girls are trying to learn stunting as all partners must be present in order to learn and practice.  

***There will be mandatory indoor practices before Cheerfest. The week prior to Cheerfest, these practices will be 3 nights for all teams and last 2 hours each night. Practices will be Monday-Wednesday (10/8-10/10 and 10/15-10/17) from 6-8pm. Location TBD.*** 

Uniform sizing and handout:
We will have new uniforms this year so we will have a mandatory uniform sizing so we can order the proper sizes and quantities of uniforms. Sizing will occur 5/21 from 4-7pm, 5/23 from 6-8pm, and 5/31 from 4-6pm at Jamie's house. Email her for the address. The last chance for a fitting is at the season kickoff meeting on 6/3 at 6:30pm at Jane Tasch Theatre. If you cannot make any of these dates, please let us know ASAP. There are required forms that must be turned in at uniform fitting. The link to the forms is:

Along with the forms included in the previous link, you will be required to submit a deposit for your child(ren)'s uniform(s) and a deposit for your volunteer requirement which are described below.

Uniform handout will occur in 7/30 from 6-8pm at the HPYFA Shed at Merrill Field. All forms, deposits, plus a copy of your child's birth certificate, last report card of 2018, and a recent physical must be recieved at uniform pickup. If all of these are not turned in, your child will not be allowed to begin practicing. Uniforms will not be handed out to those who have not turned in their deposit checks. 

Volunteering deposit $100:
As mentioned previously, every family is required to volunteer a few times per season. The set number will be determined based on the number of home games this season. There will be an online sign-up link emailed out to each family once the game schedule is set.

Equipment/uniform deposit $100:
An equipment/uniform deposit needs to be made on equipment/uniform handout day.

Deposits will be returned on equipment/uniform hand-in day. If you have not met your volunteering commitment or did not turn in equipment, your check will be considered a donation to the HPYFA.

All checks should be made to HPYFA.

Teams must have a white cheer/pom shoes, however, they do not have to all be the same. Cheer/Pom shoes may be purchased at Dunham's, Dick's Sporting Goods, or online at Omni Cheer or GTM. Please keep in mind that Brighton, Howell, and Hartland teams will also be purchasing their shoes from these local stores so the sooner you get yours, the better.

Cheer/Pom coaches:

Our coaches for this year are as follows.

Instructional: Head Coach Sonya Harmon and Assistant Coach Jamie Baltzell

Freshman Black: Head Coach Kelly Rysso and Assistant Coach Kristi Meade

Freshman Red: Head Coach Jessica Podhola and Assistant Coach Tiffany Watts

JV Black: Head Coach Karie Mougrabi and Assistant Coach Jennine Raczkowski

JV Red: Head Coaches Tricia Richardson and Nichole Lindblade and Assistant Coach Rickelle Tomshany

Coaches are expected to follow HPYFA (Hamburg Pirate Youth Football Association) and LCACC (Livingston County Area Cheer Commissioners) rules/regulations. Coaches are also given guidelines from the Cheer/Pom VPs that they are expected to follow.


 If you have any questions regarding Cheer/Pom, please contact Jamie Baltzell at or Kelly Rysso at

Thank you for your support!



Contact Information

Contact the Cheer/Pom VPs with any questions:

Jamie Baltzell

Kelly Rysso

Thank you for your support!

Become a Coach

We can always use more assistant coaches!

Please contact Jamie Baltzell at and Kelly Rysso at if you are interested in coaching.

You will be contacted via email for an interview. Coaches are expected to follow HPYFA (Hamburg Pirate Youth Football Association) and LCACC (Livingston County Area Cheer Commissioners) rules and regulations. Coaches will also be given guidelines that you will be expected to follow.