Wildcat Cheerleaders make Changes within their Squad

NMU Sports Information

By: Victoria Graham

With the 2013-14 season beginning, the Wildcat Cheerleading squad is going to be in attendance at several upcoming athletic events.

The team said they are more determined this season than ever before, with new members, new routines, new goals and new expectations.

Sophomore base and flyer Whitney Buchan said cheerleading is not what most people think it is. She said the team is not only about waving their pompoms in the air and living the stereotypical lifestyle of a college cheerleader. Rather, Buchan said the team is focused on being involved around the Northern Michigan University campus, the athletic grounds and throughout the community.

Buchan said the team focused on several important volunteer activities last season in order to get team members involved.

“Last year, the squad volunteered at the Beacon House and also created the event, Bow’s for Cancer patients,” Buchan said. “These events were not only the most touching experiences we’ve been involved in, but causes that will be held for years to come.”

To the general population, cheerleading as a sport has often been debatable, but Buchan and sophomore flyer Beth Bertucci said cheerleading is a work out.

“Cheerleading is just as hard as any other sport,” Bertucci said, “with 6 a.m. mornings, weight lifting, and pushing ourselves to the max every day.”

Even with the large number of practices that the cheerleaders must attend, the cheerleading team has put a larger effort toward prioritizing classroom assignments.

Bertucci said the squad is focused on cheering, but understands that school is most important.

“Our squad prioritizes,” Bertucci said. “All of us know that cheering and having fun is important, but academics and schooling come first. We strive to be the best that we can be, the positive faces of Northern.”

The squad faces upcoming changes for the season that they have already begun to practice and prepare for.

Buchan said the team plans to cheer at a more competitive level this season, which makes the extra time and effort all the more worthwhile.

“This year we have not only been practicing for events such as football, basketball, or hockey games, but we have been training to cheer competitively with a professional choreographer,” Buchan said. “We plan to travel around the state  to compete against other universities and squads such as Michigan State, Michigan Tech and Alma.  This experience will not only make us better cheerleaders but teach us true teamwork.”

Buchan and Bertucci said the student body should expect nothing but good surprises from the team this year.

“This cheerleading season will be like no other,” Bertucci said. “Expect big things for homecoming, in the student section and community.”