Arizona royalty hasn't stopped cheering for 'Cats
2013 was a year where the cheerleading and mascots were in the spotlight of homecoming royalty at the University of Arizona. UA cheerleader Courtney Broome won homecoming king alongside homecoming queen Alexis Del Castillo, who was Wilma at the time.
Broome continues to find himself standing on the sideline to cheer on the Arizona Wildcats, but this time as an assistant coach.
Graduating from the UA as a psychology major, Broome was a four-year member of the cheerleading team. According to Broome, the Arizona cheer team at the time was a sport that most people didn’t recognize, until Broome put on the royal crown.
“My experience winning homecoming king was great,” Broome said. “It definitely helped me elevate cheerleading more into the spotlight and got more people to try out.”
Other cheerleaders in the past ran on the Homecoming Court, but Broome was the first male cheerleader to win the royal title.
“I thought it was great experience and a huge deal for the cheer team,” Broome said. “We [the cheer team] have always had people come up on the homecoming court, but it was a huge deal when I won.”
Being named homecoming king gave Broome the opportunity to meet new people and expand his network outside of cheer. After winning, the team posted a video from the 2014 tryouts where Broome stated he was homecoming king, which caught student’s interest.
Broome had always had a leadership role on the team, but during his final year as a Wildcat he was named captain. Broome’s experience as a cheerleader was filled with many memories including running out of the football tunnel with the giant A-flag.
“It was the most exhilarating feeling and very memorable to look out at the stadium. But homecoming was always such a big deal for us [cheer] because the alumni come back and we always wanted to make them proud. It will always be a special day,” Broome said.
The UA alum is currently an assistant coach for the cheerleading team and is able to mentor the current male cheerleaders on the team. Broome focuses mainly on teaching correct techniques and making sure the team maintains its traditional values.
“I am able to provide a leadership role and give them a positive way to do some of the traditions and help out with a lot of the techniques and be a mentor to the guys on the team,” Broome said. “I really like to make sure we establish a culture. I try to remind them how much of a privilege it is to be a cheerleader and go on these trips and experience games including football and basketball.”
Broome and the cheerleading team will be cheering on the sidelines for the Arizona Wildcats during homecoming weekend.
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