By Lindsay Toothaker, Staff Writer
The UMF Cheerleading Club brought back a second place title and a trophy from their first cheerleading competition since 2012 recently, in a tournament held in western Massachusetts.
Kris Kelley, the leader of the cheerleading club, was impressed with the student turnout at the competition and was pleased with how the show went. “We got second place, and we were only 1.3 points behind first place team, Westfield State University. They are a varsity program that’s been well established for a while,” said Kelley. “They definitely weren’t taking us seriously when we were warming up, so it was nice to go out there and give it our all and kind of show them up, in a small way. [It] was really fulfilling.”
The cheerleaders had plenty of practice to lead up to the competition. “We practice by having a routine that we perform during basketball season, which is pretty much a watered down version of our routine that we perform for the competition,” said Kelley.
Many students drove down to Massachusetts to support the team at the competition. “The support was amazing. I was so surprised that people drove down to see us,” said Kelley. “I know people go and see other games all the time, but I wasn’t expecting anyone to drive down to Western Massachusetts to see a two minute performance.”
Kurt Mason was one of the students who made the drive to see them perform. According to Mason, the atmosphere of the competition had a lot of energy. “It was hectic. There were cheerleaders everywhere,” he said. “And everyone was really pumped up and excited.”
For Mason, the long drive was worth it. “We drove four and a half hours for a two and a half minute performance,” he said. “I thought they did incredible. I’m not just saying that because I’m a UMF student, I think we did very well.”
The Cheerleading Club is a group that any student can get involved in. “Two thirds of us are freshmen, and one third is upperclassmen,” said Kelley. “It’s exciting to have so many freshmen because we know that the team will get more attention if they keep on going with it and be successful next year.”
The Cheerleading Club are looking for members for Fall 2015. They will be tabling at the Spring Fling club fair or those interested can contact Kris Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org.