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