Morehead State University Cheerleading: Meet the Squad

January 12, 2011

Morehead State University Cheerleaders

The champion cheerleaders of Morehead State University discuss what it takes to make their squad, and their goals at nationals this year. We talked with representatives from both the all-girl and co-ed teams at Premier Athletics of NKY’s UCA Nationals Showcase on Jan. 10. See below for an edited transcript.

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Q. What’s your typical schedule as a Morehead cheerleader?

-All girl practices on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and then we’ll have Sunday practices. And then when it turns into nationals we go two times a day, so we have two-a-days every day for at least two hours — it could be three or four. Just depends on the day and how we’re doing.

-Co-ed has practice Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and we come in on Sunday as well, just like all-girl, and nationals practice every day until we get the job done.

-And then we still cheer basketball and football games during the week.

-And 7:30 a.m. morning workouts! Three days a week. It’s a wakeup call!

-But it’s worth it. It helps out a lot.

Q. What skills are required to make the squad?

-On all-girl you have to have a standing tuck, a hand-tuck, and then a roundoff-banckhandpring-tuck, but it’s encouraged to have a roundoff-backhandspring-full, along with any kind of stunting you need to have — full-up stretch, double down and full-up basically anything.

-Co-ed is just like that — the first day (of tryouts) you do standing tumbling, standing tucks, hand tuck, or anything you have that’s better than that, then a running tumbling pass, then same basic, full-up skills we go through. Everybody does a cheer and a chant that’s taught at tryouts, and then elite stunts is the last day of the tryouts.

-I would just say to wear some kind of blue and gold colors or a Morehead shirt if they have one. Just come and be ready to have fun and try the best they can do.

-Also, come into our clinics. Those help a lot. That way you can meet people and you don’t feel out of place. You connect with someone and you already have a stunt group ready to go.

-The biggest thing for high schoolers, because I coached for three years, is getting the experience at the college level, because there is a big step. The easiest way is to come to clinics. That’s where you can legally do rewinds and elite level stunts, and that’s how you get an advantage as a freshman or transfer student.

Q. Do you have any advice for guys who want to be cheerleaders?

-Just come in prepared. Morehead is a very very strong program. Some people try to take it lightly or take it for granted. Requirements are to toss stunts up to the top — toss lib, toss cupie, full-up libs, full-up stretches, elite stunts — be prepared and ready to work.

-It doesn’t always matter about the size of the guy. I’m one of the smaller guys on the team — if you couldn’t see standing next to these two guys! But if you come in and you work hard, you can be completely capable of doing the same kind of things that the bigger guys would be able to do.

Q. Talk about your school’s winning tradition.

-We’re all part of the winningest college cheerleading program in the history of cheerleading. Our co-ed team has won 20 different national titles, and 9 of them have been consecutive. Our all girl has won 7 national titles since the all-girl program began, and every year we strive to keep that going. Every year we work hard to keep that rolling and this year hopefully we’ll get 21 and number 8 for the girls.

Q. What else makes your program special?

-We’re a family. Definitely. We stick together through thick and thin, and we can say that especially throughout this past year that everything happens for a reason, and we grow together. That’s what made us who we are. That’s why we’re here at Morehead.

-We have almost half of the states represented here and we’re one huge family. Without each other we wouldn’t make it, we don’t know what we’d do without each other. We support each other all year long. Even after nationals is over we’re still a family. You make friends here that you’ll have for the rest of your life.

Q. Other advice for prospective cheerleaders in high school?

The first thing obviously you want if you cheer in high school or you cheer all-star, the main goal is to get to college to cheer. There’s no professional sport cheerleading out there, so this is the top level. But the main thing with picking a school to go to, you have to check that they have the program you’re interested in. And also, no matter where you go, you’re going to be a student athlete. You have to do the work inside the classroom as well as outside the classroom to be able to do what we’re getting ready to do here in about a week. [UCA Nationals.]

-I guess I didn’t realize how much hard work it would be. Just coming form a high school team, everybody’s the best at their high school, then you come to college and don’t realize that everybody is just as good as you. You just really have to work hard and give 100% in everything that you do. It’s worth it.

-You won’t regret it if you come. When I first came to Morehead — I’m from San Diego, California and I came to this little bitty town thinking “What am I getting myself into?” And I found myself going “I can’t wait to get back to Kentucky with my family.” It’s an experience that you’ll not regret.

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Jen Green January 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Wow. Great post. I think it will help a lot of people who are looking to become cheerleaders or to better their skills to know what it takes to be on such a great college cheer team. Thanks for the fun, frank, and informative post.

Kendall Riley Thompson February 8, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Im thirteen and I cant wait till college to cheer. Im hoping to get a scholarship to MSU or UK. I have a full and standing tumbling and Im working on one handed single stunts with only two people. Im glad I got on this website because now I know I have everything that is needed to be on the Co-ed team.

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