As they prepare to take the stage at the Pop Warner Cheerleading Competition, the Liberty City Warriors Cheerleaders get in one last rehearsal. The girls look to their coaches for direction and guidance. For Jr. Coach Laquisha Conley, there’s a personal investment in this team. Her little sister Armani is on the squad.
The sisters share a special bond through cheer; a bond their god mother Lana Hall started over 7 years ago when their mother passed away. “That was their mom’s wish before she passed away, that if I couldn’t do anything else to promise that I’d put Armani and Laquisha into cheering” she explains.
With no children of her own, Hall has raised the girls as her own. It wasn’t always easy, but Laquisha and Armani came up with their own way of coping with the loss of their mom. “We make ourselves believe that our mom is on vacation. So it just feels like she’s on vacation and we’re on vacation too” says older sister Laquisha.
Cheerleading has become a family tradition, one that Laquisha is already passing on to her little sister Armani. Laquisha cheered with the Warriors for years before becoming a Jr. Coach. She says her sister is the main reason she continues to work with the squad. Laquisha remembers how much she learned from cheering with the Warriors saying, “I just want to install that in my sister because I know she really loves to cheer, so I just want her to be able to experience everything that I have.”
Armani listens closely to her sister and godmother. She carries the lessons they’ve taught her both in cheer and in life. Hall is at every practice, competition and game. She proudly watches the girls knowing she’s fulfilled their mother’s wish.