Pepper Steppers Reign Supreme At Double Dutch Championships
The young group from Far Rockaway once again was crowned champions as they captured numerous honors last week at the American Double- Dutch League 35th Annual World Invitational Championship at the Exhibition Center in Sumter, South Carolina.
The Pepper Steppers have been victorious in this competition in years past. For the second year in a row, they captured overall honors as the best team in the competition.
The World Invitational Championships gathers all of the top young double dutch groups in the country and throughout the world, including such countries as Japan, France and Canada.
The thirteen young boys and girls from Far Rockaway captured the highest overall score in the tournament. They were placed first in combined score, which include the speed, compulsory and freestyle events.
The Pepper Steppers also were awarded team trophies in the speed and freestyle category, scholarships and team jackets.
The Pepper Steppers, founded and directed by Stan Brown, represents the Sorrentino Recreational Center in Far Rockaway. They qualified as the New York State representative by capturing the championship on Saturday, May 3 in the Bronx.
Stan Brown said his team had a hard fight at this year's championship, especially in the doubles category. The representative from South Carolina, the host state of the annual tournament, was in first place going into the final round of the doubles competition.
Yatte Brown, Stan's daughter and a team coach, made a few adjustments in the Pepper Steppers routine before they began.
The Pepper Steppers made the necessary changes and rose from second place to win the event in the final. Stan Brown said it was a crucial adjustment which turned out to be right.
"She changed the freestyle and by doing that, we got more points. After doing that, it propelled us into first place," Brown said. "She added a couple of flips which wasn't in our initial program. She was smart in doing that."
Brown continues his efforts to coach the team because he says they display a maturity level which has carried into their scholastic life. He says the team's grade point average, which is over 80, is a reflection that his team has balanced their athletic and academic lives quite nicely.
"I'm happy. I want to see these young people get scholarships to college because they earned it. They worked hard. They're good role models for the community," Brown said.
"Their dedication, their work ethic, their demeanor is great. It sets a good example because of the way they are able to adjust in ever day life and in their environment, and it's a credit to them."
Brown also thanks the Far Rockaway community for their support, the Sorrentino Recreational Center, and DC 37, Local 299 for supporting the team's trip to the championship.
The team members from Stan's Pepper Steppers; Laa'Neisha Jones, Peter Alvarez, Katherine Rocha, Robeisha Davis, Alaisyia Woodard, Jasmine Hamlet, Nadine Harrison, Jessica Berrios, Niya Dubose, Imani Clairsaint, Tiffany Duarte, Shamera Davis and Shameeka McCoy.
The coaches and officials from Stan's Pepper Steppers: Stan Brown (coach), Linda Brown (official and scorekeeper), Yatte Brown (coach), Carol Walker (official and assistant scorekeeper), and Terri Dubose (chaperone).