The UA cheer squad and mascots stick to the classics this Homecoming week
The UA cheer team has been practicing alumni’s favorite stunts and dances in efforts to impress alumni, fans and students alike during this year’s Homecoming weekend.
Daniel Tannen, cheer team captain and junior studying biology, said the team is very excited for all of the
“We’re gonna be loud, we’re gonna be proud and I’m just excited," Tannen said. "I think the crowd will be, too, to hear what we have to do and listen on to some of those cheers."
The team gets involved with nearly every Homecoming activity, including the Club Olympics, the Wildcat Walk and the lighting of “A” Mountain.
“We have Bear Down Friday that we do the pep rally at, and right after that we go to the bonfire, where they announce the king and queen,” Tannen said.
Alex Eschelman, a sophomore studying journalism, has returned as a Wildcat cheerleader for her second year. Eschelman looks forward to the extra-busy week that lies ahead for the entire cheer squad.
“This is a huge week for everybody, so it’s going to be fun,” Eschelman said. “We don’t particularly have a lot of extra practices, it’s more so a lot more events that we have to attend throughout the week in regards to Homecoming, and there’s a lot of alumni that come back.”
The cheer team invites back all previous alumni for every Homecoming event.
“That means that you’ll get to see a whole bunch of cheerleaders and mascots that put on the costume or wore the uniform in previous years, and they all come back for Homecoming,” Tannen said. “They built their legacy and we want to impress them and show them our skills, and at the same time cheer on our school.”
Eager to impress, the team has been busy perfecting
They don’t usually prepare new routines for Homecoming, though.
“We focus on the traditional things that everybody recognizes our team for," Eschelman said. "One thing is the cat wall, a huge pyramid that we do that’s been a tradition on our team for years. We’re known for our line stunts, so we really harp on improving those and making those the best that they possibly can be."
The mascots also play a big role in the cheerleading preparations, and they work especially close with the entire cheer team for Homecoming.
“We do a mascot pyramid," Eschelman said. "We typically do it every game, but we just make sure that that looks really good for Homecoming."
With such an abundance of school spirit on the UA campus, the cheerleaders make sure to give fans plenty of what they like to see most.
“I would definitely say one thing that everybody loves the most are basket tosses—those are some of the most exciting things that we do,” Eschelman said.
The cheerleaders are particularly excited for the Club Olympics, a competition that takes place on the UA Mall and includes many UA clubs.
“Although we are an athletic program, we don’t fall under the sphere of athletics as a sport, so we get to participate with all of the Club Olympics stuff and just have fun throughout the week,” Tannen said.
Club Olympics features events such as pumpkin pie eating contests and relay races. The team holds workouts every single Monday, Wednesday and Friday and they’re excited to show off the strength they’ve built throughout the school year in the Club Olympics events.
Tannen said most of the team looks forward to the mud-tug-of-war, as it serves as the culmination of showing off school spirit to other clubs and students.
With UA’s most spirited squad prepped and ready to bring back UA cheer classics, Homecoming weekend is set to be one of the most pumped-up weeks of the year.
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