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Pogo stick jumper brings high-flying talent to RedHawks game

FARGO--Henry Cabelus was 12 years old and at a school talent show rehearsal when he decided he wanted to try something extreme. Cabelus was playing a musical medley on the piano, while another contestant was doing tricks on a pogo stick. "He was ...

The XPOGO stunt team is scheduled to perform at the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks game Tuesday, July 31, at Newman Outdoor Field. Photo courtesy XPOGO
The XPOGO stunt team is scheduled to perform at the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks game Tuesday, July 31, at Newman Outdoor Field. Photo courtesy XPOGO
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FARGO-Henry Cabelus was 12 years old and at a school talent show rehearsal when he decided he wanted to try something extreme.

Cabelus was playing a musical medley on the piano, while another contestant was doing tricks on a pogo stick.

"He was blowing my mind the whole time," said Cabelus, from New Hope, Pa., which is about 40 miles northeast of Philadelphia.

Now 18 years old, Cabelus is the one blowing people's minds with his pogo ability. He owns multiple Guinness World Records, including most consecutive backflips on a pogo stick. He did 20 in a row at an Oregon Ducks football game in 2017.

Cabelus is scheduled to be at Newman Outdoor Field on Tuesday, July 31, performing with the XPOGO stunt team, which has performed in more than 20 countries and owns 13 Guinness World Records. The RedHawks play to St. Paul Saints at 7:02 p.m. Tuesday in an American Association baseball matchup.

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"When you hear the term pogo sticking your mind goes to this kids toy that goes two inches off the ground," said Will Weiner, an XPOGO CEO and announcer. "This is nothing like that."

Cabelus recently took first place in high jump and best trick at "Pogopalooza," the world championships of pogo that was July 21-22 in Wilkinsburg, Pa. He cleared 10 feet, 6 inches in the high jump. The world record is 11-1.

Weiner said the pogo sticks the team members use are air powered and pack around 80 pounds of pressure per square inch. Weiner said there about 20 athletes in XPOGO and they combine for around 1,000 performances in a year.

"It's going to be something really unique for the Fargo fans," Weiner said. "We really love traveling and performing."

Cabelus said he placed third in that fateful talent show with his piano medley that featured Billy Joel's "Piano Man." The pogo contestant didn't compete at the talent show because he got a concussion from a trick he attempted during rehearsal.

However, that didn't matter to Cabelus, who had watched some pogo videos online prior to that rehearsal experience.

"It was everything," Cabelus said. "It was the height mainly. It looked like he was bouncing so high. ... A big part of having him around made it look like possible. I had him as a base point for what I was trying to catch up to."

Cabelus has performed pogo tricks all over the world, including an island off the African coast, China and Italy. He said the coolest place he's been to was the performance on Seychelles, which is east of Africa in the Indian Ocean.

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"That was by far the coolest place," Cabelus said.

XPOGO has performed at events, ranging from the NBA Playoffs, to a speedway, to a local fair, to a Chinese New Year's parade in Hong Kong.

Cabelus said for performances like the one at Newman Outdoor Field, he will get around 8 feet of air on some of his tricks.

"You always get the best reaction when it's someone's first reaction to it," Cabelus said. "We're excited to tell them everything about it and showing them was it is."

The XPOGO stunt team is scheduled to perform at the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks game Tuesday, July 31, at Newman Outdoor Field. Photo courtesy XPOGO
The XPOGO stunt team is scheduled to perform at the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks game Tuesday, July 31, at Newman Outdoor Field. Photo courtesy XPOGO

Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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