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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Cheer club preps for nationals

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The Aggie Competition Cheer Squad will hold its annual Show Off where members will showcase the routine they will take to the National Cheer Association competition in Florida.
Although the group was established 10 years ago, it’s only been a Rec Sports club for the last four years. The first six years the group was just a few individuals who decided they wanted to compete.
“Back 10 years ago, you had a squad that was a group of talented individuals – individually,” said head coach Jacob Eaton. “But they didn’t really have the leadership or support and it just took awhile for it to all come together.”
Eaton said with the help of a former squad member who became head coach, this group of girls laid the groundwork for the competition squad of 22 women that exists today – one that Eaton said is more prepared than any before to compete in Florida.
“This year is definitely the most talented squad overall,” Eaton said. “The girls this year are just truly, truly talented and the talent is able to be displayed when they work together.”
Sydney Lewis, squad president and senior communication major, said unlike other universities with more developed programs, the Aggie squad qualified for the competition in Florida by sending in a taped performance.
“You have to qualify and most teams qualify through a summer camp they go to, but since we’re just a Rec sport we don’t do that, so we have to qualify through a video,” Lewis said. “We make a bid tape and send in that.”
Madeline Schulz, squad vice president and sophomore business major, said it was a struggle starting a cheer squad on a campus with such strong Yell Leader traditions. Schulz said there are certain misunderstandings about the squad.
“When the competition squad first started there were some people who weren’t very happy and expressed in fervent terms their displeasure,” Schulz said. “But in actuality we don’t do any cheering at all.”
Schulz said the squad does more technical work rather than so-called “gameday” cheering.
“Competitive cheering is really technical,” Schulz said. “You have a 2:30 routine and there are certain skills you have to throw in depending on your skill level like layouts, whips, kick-doubles and baskets – all very technical. Then gameday cheerleading you use flags and you do, ‘Go, team, go.”’
Eaton said the team is focused on the upcoming National Cheer Association competition.
“We want to win and this year we’re definitely the most capable of that,” Eaton said. “But really, I just want the girls to go out there and leave it all on the mat.”
The Show Off will be held Sunday in the Rec archery room.

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