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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Bring it on

St. Joe’s cheerleading squad supports the men’s basketball team in Hagan Arena (Photo by Luke Malanga ’20).

Cheer team ready for another year of competition

Standing in front of a packed house at Hagan Arena would be an anxiety–inducing experience for most students. With the lights shining down and all of their peers in the stands, it’s a reasonable response.

For the St. Joe’s cheerleading team, this is where the fun begins.

“Game day is fun,” junior Tina Giordano said. “You have games once or twice a week and for me it is a good distraction from schoolwork. I get to go not think about anything outside of cheerleading and have fun with my friends while cheering on the school.”

Though cheering for the basketball team is a large part of what they do, it isn’t what drives the team. When the fun of the basketball performance ends, the pressure of competitive cheer begins.

“I have always been a competitive person,” junior Emily O’Sullivan said. “So I thrive off of the butterflies in my stomach.”

The cheer team’s main goal for this season is to go out and compete. They want to show off the talent they have.

“Our goal for competition is to go out and do our best,” junior Maddy Bridges said. “Obviously we want to win, but we really want to put a routine on the mat that we feel good with so when we come off the mat we feel we did everything we could.”

The team’s competitive season started with a training camp alongside other Philadelphia area schools. It was both a chance to learn and interact with other squads as well as earn a bid for the National Championships in Daytona Beach.

“The National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) come and sent a few instructors who taught us new stunts, new routines, new cheers and techniques,” Bridges said. “It helps us get ready for the season.”

Usually the team works out alone, but this year they decided to attend camp with other local teams.

“It was cool to see other schools who were there,” Giordano said. “Penn State club, Ryder, Drexel, La Salle. It is cool to be around schools that are close to us.”

The main reason for the change was the fact that attending this camp made St. Joe’s eligible for a bid for Nationals.

“The reason we had other teams come out is because we wanted to get a bid so they would pay for a certain amount of the cost to go to Daytona, where the national competition is,” Sullivan said. “We did a mini routine and at the end of the camp the NCA staff evaluates your team and decides what bid to give. We ended up getting bronze this year.”

The team is confident in the group of seniors they have to lead them this year. The team has chosen to forego naming official captains and instead are letting the entire senior class take charge.

“They all have so much knowledge,” Sullivan said. “We have a lot of seniors and they have all been there the same amount of time so we feel comfortable going to any of them with anything.”

The cheer team will begin their competitions in February. Until then, they can be found under the bright lights of Hagan, having fun and fine tuning their routines.

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