Cheerleaders with special needs inspire at Hunterdon Huskies football games

October 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm

The Contender Cheer Team is a unique group of special needs cheerleaders led by organizer and head coach Debbie House. The team was formed three years ago with a group of five girls. The second year the team increased to eight and this year the squad is 10. They cheer at Hunterdon Huskies home games at Union Forge Park in High Bridge.

Andre Malok of The Star-Ledger reports from High Bridge, NJ.

Youth football is an autumn weekend ritual that plays out on fields all across the country. But game day wouldn’t quite be complete without the energy and spirit of a cheerleading squad.

At Huskies Field in High Bridge, that ritual is playing out just like it does in communities all across the country. Only, a closer look reveals a very special collection of young ladies. This is the Contender cheer team. A group of special needs girls led by organizer and head coach Debbie House.

House had been watching a simulcast of a national cheerleading competition several years back. In between performances, she noticed groups of special needs kids cheering. She approached officials from the Hunterdon Huskies cheerleading program to gauge interest and get advice. It was a no-brainer, they loved the idea and decided to bring it to High Bridge. “I just never got told no,” said House, a Clinton Township resident. “There was never a reason not to do it.”

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