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How did the cheer­leading team begin?

[Seniors] Chloe Chapel and Ashlee LeCompte were really good cheer­leaders in high school, and they com­peted nationally, so they had been trying to start a team. They started it suc­cess­fully in the summer before my junior year – so the summer of 2010.  I was one of the original members of the team when it first started up. I think we had about 12 girls, but we have increased since then.

How has the team grown since it first started?

The team is a lot stronger than it was in the beginning. Most of the girls had prior expe­rience, but the girls who had never cheered before have really learned a lot. The more girls we’ve gotten, we have been able to do more stunts, as well as inter­esting and fun things to do at games. We started off last year just doing chants, but now we have four full stunt groups.

Did you have any prior expe­rience with cheer­leading in high school?

I did not, actually. I danced a lot with the musicals I was in because I did a lot with theatre. I never cheered, but I knew how to dance and move, so I decided — and Chloe Chapel con­vinced me — to try out. I’ve learned a lot from it.

Do enjoy being able to cheer for your class­mates that you actually know?

Actually, I always tell people that. I’ve never been a huge sports freak. I have my Michigan teams that I cheer for with my family, but there’s just some­thing about being able to go to games and watch people that you actually know and that your in classes with and friends with outside of the field. Whereas I have all of these friends at these big state schools that go to these games, sit in the stands, and pay a ton for season tickets, but they don’t even know those people. So per­sonally for me it’s huge to be able to go and to actually know the guys and the girls. The women’s bas­ketball team, some of my really good friends, Chelsea Har­rison and Liz Brannick, play so it’s really cool to be able to go watch them and cheer for them.

What is your most mem­o­rable expe­rience on the cheer team?

My favorite is going to Min­nesota with the football team. It was a really cool expe­rience, we got to fly on the plane with the team directly to Min­nesota and stayed in the hotel over night. I will never forget how cold it was. The game was absolutely freezing. I have never been colder in my entire life. We were absolutely freezing. We had hand warmers and feet warmers. I still can’t even image playing the actual game. The field was right on the water. It was still a super fun expe­rience and some­thing I will always remember doing.

— Com­piled by Rachel Fer­nelius