Tuesday, November 22, 2016

4 years. Twice a week. Countless games. Forever friendships.

Starting college was a time of adventure for me. I wanted to try and do everything. I went to the activities fair as an excited Freshman, ready to dive in. As I was enjoying the endless amounts of free candy, I came across the cheerleading booth. I was immediately interested. This was an activity we did not have in high school. A week later, I showed up to basketball cheerleading tryouts. The whole time I worried because I have absolutely zero experience and I was way out of my comfort zone. I pushed through and later that week I got an email saying I made the squad.

As we started practices, I had a lot to work on. My arms were not tight or straight, I needed to be stronger and better, and I did not know how to do ‘cheer hair’. Each day I would leave with a new area to work on. Each practice I would go back excited to see the girls that I would soon call friends and to train our squad to trust in and use each other as support. The year went on and I became more comfortable as a cheerleader.

The year came to an end, and I wanted to do more. I had made friendships to last a lifetime and I wanted to be more involved. My next challenge: football squad. I made it and had so much fun! Who would have thought standing in the freezing cold, rain, and snow, I would still enjoy myself. I was pushed to new limits. We had a performance and doing the splits and a toe touch was part of the criteria. Toe touch?! What is that? They expect me to hit my splits in just a few weeks?! Well, I did it and I walked away wanting more.

As the third year approached, I was now considered an upper classman. It was time to no longer follow, but to be a leader. I led by example. Always being there, ready to go, asking for help when I needed it, and helping others along as well. This year I was involved in both football and basketball. During the basketball season, I got an email saying that they wanted me to be their assistant captain. ME?! The one who knew nothing about cheer a mere two years ago. What did they see in me? I accepted with Abby Hopfer as my partner in crime. We would tackle this challenge together.

Now it is my final year. How did the time go so fast? I am now captain for the basketball squad and the end is approaching faster and faster. Am I ready to leave this wonderful group of girls? No. Will I ever be? Probably not. I know that the seniors have and continue to train the squad into smart and strong girls. I know that our legacy has made an impact on the squad. We are no longer the schools laughing stock, cheerleaders who can barely do a simple prep. We are the cheerleaders. We are a force to be reckoned with. We will continue to break past the barriers and continue to be bigger and better.

~Submitted by Audrey Steiner, Senior, Captain

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

First Hockey Game of the Season!

Tuesday, November 8th was the CSS Men’s hockey home opener. The hockey cheerleaders, Sammy (captain), Annie, Ixyana, and I (Brittany) were very excited because this game kicked off our season! Up until then, we had practiced our dances and had one on-ice practice to prepare. We have 10 different dances that we perform in between plays up in the stands. Even though our squad is so little this year, we have spirit to equal to a squad 4 times as large as ours!

The hockey team played UW-River Falls and ended up with a score of 2 goals to UW-RF’s 3. It was a very good game and even though they lost by one goal, the cheerleaders were all on the edge of their seat cheering on our team!
~Brittany Szybczynski, Sophomore Hockey Cheerleader

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Community Day at HomeCroft!

CSS Cheer takes on HomeCroft for Community Day! Here at Scholastica almost everyone participates in community day. Community day is a day that really allows us as students to show how we represent our Benedictine values. Not only are we reaching out and bettering our community, but we are spreading our values for hospitality and love for learning. Being on the Cheer Team, I had the wonderful experience of volunteering at Home Croft Elementary School.  HomeCroft is a small elementary school not too far from Scholastica.

This years volunteering activity involved reading to the students that attend HomeCroft. I was able to choose three books to read. The student I read to was a little boy, who of course, wanted to read I SPY. But, what little kid doesn’t like reading those books? Those were my favorite! After about forty-five minutes of reading out of our selection of books he thanked us for reading to him and volunteering at his school. The kids there are very well mannered!

Community day as a cheerleader is not only fun because we are able to take a break from school and help out the community, but its also time well spent with the cheer family. We all spend countless hours at practice working super hard, these little breaks are appreciated moments. We love what we do, and we love sharing that with the community.

Jordan Segelstrom 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Fall Cheer Camp for Kids a Success!!!

On the October 1st, the cheer team hosted almost 70 girls for a cheer clinic. The girls were anywhere from kindergarten to 8th grade and we split them up into groups based on age. The older girls showed up right away at 10am while the younger ones came around noon. We started with playing some fun games and getting to know each other. We then split off into small groups where we worked on a variety of skills all day long. We practiced stunting, we learned cheers, we learned a dance and we took many breaks to goof around and make sure everyone was having fun.

Because the cheer clinic was held earlier this year, rather than performing at a halftime during a basketball game, we put on our own show for all of the kids family and friends to come watch. We had all of the girls put on a performance that showed off all of the fun things they learned that day. There were many smiles, lots of clapping, and some loud cheering coming from both the girls and the audience.

Overall, it was a long day filled with many memories. The girls wore our team out with all of their energy, but it gave us a chance to remind ourselves of why we fell in love with the sport in the first place. It was truly inspiring to see all of the young ones looking up to us as role models.
~Jamie Dupre, Freshman


Friday, September 23, 2016

First Game as a Saint’s Cheerleader

September 17th was anything but a normal day for me, in fact it was kind of a significant day. This was the day that I performed as a Saints cheerleader for the first time. For most people that probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it was for me. When I was in high school I was on dance team and our school’s dance team and cheer team had a major rivalry. When I left high school I didn’t really have any intentions to join Saint Scholastica’s dance team but I definitely didn’t think I would end up on the cheer team. As a senior going into my freshmen year of college a friend of mine suggested that I try out for the team with her and I was very adamant about saying no. After my first year of college I realized something was missing in my life and that something happened to be being on a team.
The spring semester of my freshman year of college I had made up my mind, I was going to try out to become a cheerleader. At tryouts the dancing came easily to me but the cheering and stunting was more of a challenge. All I could do was do my best and I was elated to hear that my best had been good enough for a spot on the team. Over the summer I trained hard to get into shape and got my butt kicked by the cheer overnight, the U of M camp and early move in. All of that hard work was all for that first game.
I really struggled keeping up with all the cheers that we learned so it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that when the week of the first football game came up, I was a nervous wreck. I had always had some performance anxiety but never really like this. I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to hear the cheers when they called them or I was going to mess up all the cheers and make a fool of myself. Luckily for me, I had practice a lot on my own before the game and only messed up a small portion of one of the many cheers that we lead on that Saturday afternoon.
Another thing that I was extremely nervous about was the game day stunting. Prior to the game there had been some changes to our stunting groups and I was worried that our stunts wouldn’t go up very well. I don’t know if it was the adrenaline or just a really good stunting day for my stunt group but everything that we put in the air stayed up. It felt amazing to have all of our preps hit so strongly, especially after having struggled with them at the last practice. Every cheer that we did while in a prep went off without a single hitch!
Overall, it was a really good experience. I enjoyed watching our football boys win the first home game of the season and trying to convince the crowd to cheer them on alongside us. I really hadn’t realized how much I missed performing in front of a crowd. Its nerve racking but in so many ways it is also very rewarding. I am glad that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and decided to try out to be a cheerleader. I love my team and I am so excited to see what is to come next for us Saints. Let’s go Saints!

-Submitted by Victoria Hansen, Sophomore

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Ready to Rock!! Our First Home Football Game of the Year!!

It’s amazing how fast a month can pass! It feels like just yesterday we were learning the first cheer and practicing it over and over, but now our first game is upon us! As the weeks have gone by, we have been working hard to be ready for the first home football game of the season. From the first day of early move-in, we have been learning cheers and going over them countless times to get them just right for game day. The team has been putting in many hours of stunting as well to wow the crowd on Saturday! These hours came with plenty of blood, sweat, and tears, along with multiple rolls of tape but we are ready! This week has been very busy as well- putting stunts to cheers seems to be a bit of a struggle at first! Poms are also an interesting thing to add; have you ever noticed how sweaty your hands get? It soon will all pay off when we cheer this weekend. We’ve got our uniforms clean, our hair ready to be “pouffed,” and our poms sparkling for the big day!

-Jenna Niska, Junior

Back to High School!!

On Saturday August 27th, the team piled into cars and headed to Cook, MN. When we arrived, we were greeted by high school cheer teams. The teams were from North Woods, Chisholm, and International Falls.  It was an early morning but we were ready for a day of fun.

We started with a warm up and a stretch. This was a time for all of us to get ready for what was to come but it also gave our team a chance to interact with the girls before we started to work. The girls from these schools varied in experience level so we went through the basics such as loads, all the way up to stunts they can work towards in the next coming years like back tuck baskets.

Once we demonstrated these stunts, we broke off into small stunt groups and helped the teams at their own levels progress with technique and skills. Many girls were hesitant at first, but all ended up trying everything we asked them to do. By the end of the stunting portion, we could see real improvement in all stunt groups.

We had a chance to eat lunch with the girls during our break and were able to learn more about how they got involved with cheerleading and who they are outside of cheer. It was fun to interact with the girls outside of cheer for a little bit.

Later, we went back to the gyms and taught the girls a few cheers. We also went over jumps during this time and a few other skills. Many of the girls seemed to enjoy this part of the day as it was a time for them to cheer, be happy, and learn something new.

In the end, it was a fun experience for both sides. Our team was able to learn how to teach and better our skills as the younger teams were able to learn new skills and techniques. Both sides learned new ways to interact with others and found our common interest in cheer grow through this experience.

-Keke Buchannan, Freshman