Monday, November 9, 2015

Football Cheering Season is over

Although the CSS football team still continues to see great success, they are on the road and the CSS Cheerleaders have wrapped up our football season.  I am so proud of this team and what they have accomplished.  We went from a group of people in July who hardly knew each other (we had 10 new people out of a squad of 19) to a high-functioning team taking on new challenges with enthusiasm and confidence!

This squad has taken CSS Cheer further than it has ever been before.  We know now what we can become.  We have seen our future and it is BRIGHT!!

Many of those from the football squad are cheering on winter squads.  For those who are not actively cheering for a sport, they will continue to take part in all of the community events and fundraising activities through the year.  And of course, ideas are already running through our heads as to what we can accomplish next football season!

Thank you to all of you for such a wonderful season!  I have said it before and I will say it again a thousand times  - I am so proud to be your coach!


2015 CSS Cheer Football Squad

Friday, October 30, 2015

Final Football Game = Senior Day!

The final game of any season is always the day our athletic teams honor their seniors, and that is no different for us.

Today we honor the only senior cheerleader on the football squad, Abby Tourtellott.  Abby has been on the football squad since Fall 2013 and her impact on the squad cannot be measured.  She has been a leader both on and off the field.  Her laugh is infectious, her smile is always present, and she never quits - even when she should.  She is always looking ahead for our squad and looking out for her teammates.  She is the athletic trainer and the taper of wrists and knees.  She is the kick in the pants when we need it.  But she's also the biggest hug when we need that, too!

Thank you, Abby, for all you have done for CSS Cheer.  I honestly don't know what we are going to do when you graduate.  I plan to spend the next few months trying to talk you into Grad School so I don't have to find out!


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Captain's Appreciation Day today!

Today's football game today is "Captain Appreciation Day" for CSS Cheer.  It's a new tradition I would like to start to honor these amazing women.  Being captain is no easy task - for every hour that any cheerleader puts in on the squad, a captain puts in double or triple.  Our captains do it all - they teach the material, plan the choreography, schedule the practice so we can eliminate wasted time, attend Senate meetings to request funds, watch countless hours of video, listen to thousands of songs to find the right music and then mix it, research opportunities to improve, coordinate community service opportunities, plan fundraisers, design merchandise, complete paperwork, help write policies, keep track of medical issues and the physical and emotional health of each girl.  Honestly, the list is endless - this barely scrapes the surface.  

They answer a million emails, text messages and Facebook messages from me.

All of that, and they still go to school with a full course load, maintain their grades and work.  

And most of the time, with a smile on their face.  

The captains are often the "bad guy" when it's needed...keeping people on track and focused on the team goals.  Sometimes it's not received well.  But they do it anyways at the risk of being disliked because it is what is best for the team.  The captains have the highest hopes for each cheerleader and for this team.  They are working to unlock your individual potential.  They are proud as parents when you finally hit that stunt you have been working on, and they are as worried about you when you are down and homesick.  

Brittany Duresky and Shannon Phelps are captains of this year's football squad.  Under their direction, we have seen massive improvement in our stunting skills from one year to the next.  We have seen the cheerleading squad get more attention and, I think, more respect from their peers and from other cheerleading teams.  We have seen women reach reach deep and find the courage to do what scares them the most...and do it successfully.  We have seen a more unified team.

I am so proud of this team.  But I am so THANKFUL for these captains.  Because of them, because of their passion and dedication, their vision and their determination, we are doing things I never thought we would do.  This team would not function without them.  

So if you see them at the game or in the hallway, please take a moment to say "thank you" for everything they do.  I promise that, no matter how much they hear it, it will never be enough.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

First game jitters were no joke on Saturday, September 12 for our first home football game. We were happily surprised with the sunny weather, and eventually very happy when the clouds would roll around.
It was the day we anticipated and worked our butts off for since the day we moved onto campus. We were nervous and excited altogether. The energy from the football team filled the air as soon as they ran out onto the field. A lot of us didn’t really know what to expect. Would the crowd cheer along with us or be too caught up in the game to even notice us? Would we remember the stunts and cheers when our captains called them out? On top of that, do we really have to smile the entire time? Our first cheer was a little shaky. After a little encouraging speech from Coach Becky we were ready to go and “stepped up our game.” It was so much fun to finally be out there doing what we had worked so hard for. The fans started cheering with us and would even get excited when he hit a stunt really well. The adrenaline that we had definitely helped us hit our stunts stronger than ever. Nothing felt unstable! It was a great feeling knowing that we performed to the best of our ability. We are extremely excited to keep working and performing! :)

Monday, August 31, 2015

Working with Area High Schools

The cheerleaders moved onto campus Aug. 21st and have spent the past week at two-a-day practices and learning new skills at the University of Minnesota College Cheer Camp.  However, this past weekend we had the opportunity to work with some high school cheer teams from northern Minnesota.  Northwoods School, Chisholm and Nashwauk Cheer Teams asked us to join them for a day to teach them cheers, jumps and stunting.  So we loaded up (a lot of) cars and made the journey to Cook, MN.

Not only is this a chance for those schools to learn something new and to learn proper techniques, but it's a great way for us to be involved in our communities and sharing one of the things we are most passionate about.  Teaching someone else how to do something is also a great way for us to remember the mechanics of what we do, which helps us improve as well.  Often times, once you have done something so many times, you tend to get a little lax about the small things.  This was a great reminder of the importance of the little things to make everything better!

We were treated with such awesome hospitality!  One of our cheerleaders was celebrating her birthday that day and the high school teams made cupcakes, a mini cake, and sang "Happy Birthday."  They also made a taco lunch for us (mmmmmmm.......tacos) which was greatly appreciated.  Finally, the Nashwauk team made adorable cheerleaders out of suckers for all the teams!  We felt so welcomed and appreciated!   I hope we have some future Saints cheerleaders in those groups!

I think the day was a great success if you look at the smiles on everyone's faces!  Keep working, girls, and remember to smile! We are proud of you!


U of M Summer Camp

This year, it was a requirement for all of the CSS football cheerleaders to attend a camp on stunting put on by the University of Minnesota Twin Cities All-Girl and Co-Ed cheer squads. This required that all the CSS cheerleaders move on to campus on Friday August 21st and then leave for the U of M camp the morning of August 22nd. There were two other college squads there that were from Steven's Point and Stout. We had roughly 5-6 hours of stunting each day for the two days of camp and were all definitely feeling the sore muscles/joints/bones/bruises in every part of our bodies. Ice and ibuprofen were our best friends for the weekend as well as the endless amounts of wrist tape and good ole H2O. Through all the pain and soreness, we bonded so much as a team and got through it with smiles and high fives for everyone. We not only accomplished small things such as getting more solid on basic preps and extensions, but successfully did a 3 high, A-frame pyramid and a Swedish Falls pyramid that will hopefully be showcased in the CSS homecoming routine this year! None of that would have been possible if it weren't for the support and sense of team that everyone showed throughout the weekend. It was a great opportunity to learn from some of the best college cheerleaders in the state and to learn so much about ourselves as a team and what we can accomplish. Watch out CSS community! You have a new and improved cheer team in the house and we're ready to knock your blue and gold socks off with all of the new and cool things we've taken away from camp! :)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Kicking off the 2015-2016 Cheer Season!

It may be summer, but as I have said before, there is no off-season in cheerleading.  At the conclusion of last year we started reviewing what went well, what could have gone better and setting plans in motion so that we are constantly moving forward and improving.  We want this experience to be worthwhile and fun, and we want to keep raising the stakes.  All it takes is one person to say  "wow-that was amazing" and you want to hear it again and again, so you have to work harder and harder to wow the crowd!

Every year the football cheerleading squad holds a three-day mini-camp to get a jump start on the fall.  The squad is on campus and together for all three days.  Each day there is 8-10 hours of practice, shared meals, and team bonding games and activities.  We also take this time to go over all of the policies, procedures and expectations to make sure everyone is on the same page and ready to go.  There are a lot of laughs, a lot of sweat, and comparing bruises is a popular past time.

This year, our football squad is the biggest it has ever been.  We have 20 girls, which means we have the capacity to do some bigger and badder stunts.  We also have probably a record number of incoming freshmen - seven will be joining us this fall!  This is a great opportunity for them to be welcomed into the CSS community, get to know the campus and their teammates, and hopefully help with some of those first year jitters.

Overall, it's a great weekend for the squad and I can't wait to get started!