Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Dates of the 2016 CSS Cheer Clinic Announced!

CSS Cheer Clinic Saturday Feb. 13, 2016

We have finally been able to reserve the space for our CSS Cheer Clinic!  The cheer clinic is an opportunity for children in grades K-8 to come to campus and work with us for the day learning a dance, cheer and stunting.  At the end of the day they get to perform at a CSS Men's basketball game!  This is our primary fundraiser for the squad, but it's also a ton of fun for us to work with the younger kids and a great reminder that there is always a little girl in the stands watching us who wants to be just like us.

Kids who attend the camp get a t-shirt, a set of authentic poms, snacks and water, free admission to the game for them and for one adult, and the older kids also get a pizza lunch.  If you would like more information or to register, please see the link below!

We can't wait!

CSS Cheer Clinic 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

A True Team

A True Team
by Autumn Urman

The word "team" has a relatively universal meaning. Most people would say that the definition of "team" falls somewhere along the lines of working together towards a common goal, supporting each other, and an overall collectivist mindset. We have all, at some point in our lives, probably been a part of a team. Myself, I've been a part of many- the volleyball team, the basketball team, the softball team, the dance team. But until I was a part of the cheer team, I had never really been a part of a true team. In fact, I had never really understood what a true team was.

I used to think that teammates gave you high fives when you had a good play at the net, congratulated you on the 3 point shots and tough defense, or enthusiastically clapped and whistled as you ran the bases or made a double play at second. I used to think that the job of a fellow teammate was to encourage and cheer each other on. And all of that may be true, but I now realize that teammates are so much more than a source of encouraging high fives and affirming applause. Teammates pick you up when you aren't on top of your game, help you find your way when you're lost and not quite sure where you are, push you to be your best, work along side you on the road to success, work hard to achieve goals, are not satisfied until the whole team is at their best, and are compassionate and caring towards one another in and out of practice. 

You may have a group of the most talented athletes alive, but if they can't work together as a team and respect one another, you have nothing. As teammates, we may not always see eye-to-eye. We may not always be best friends. And we may not always be motivated to do our best. But we always have each other's backs. No matter how much we may get on each other's nerves, not matter how tired we are at the end of a long practice, and no matter how much we have going on in our lives outside of cheer, it's our job as teammates to act as such. A team is more than just a title, and a teammate is more than just a job description- it's a philosophy to live by.

"The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." --Phil Jackson

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!